MK Oren Hazan.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
With Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s approval, the Central District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment against Likud MK Oren Hazan for roughing up Ariel City Council chairman and accosting Ariel’s mayor in October 2014.
The indictment, filed in the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, detailed Hazan’s alleged angry reaction over the fact that the city had placed a lien on his mother’s bank account for an unpaid debt.
Mandelblit sent a letter to Hazan and to the Knesset in September regarding his intent to indict, noting that Hazan had 30 days to try to claim parliamentary immunity.
Traditionally, once a case is serious enough that the attorney-general is ready to indict an MK, removing his parliamentary immunity is a mere formality.
The indictment said Hazan had hurled the chairman into a railing, cursed out the mayor and threatened to get them fired.
Hazan responded to the charges saying, “I have nothing to hide... therefore, I waived my parliamentary immunity... and I requested from the state attorney a public, transparent trial before the nation’s eyes that will be broadcast on Facebook Live.
“In the trial, I will prove that I was right and the fact that we are discussing another corrupt agency and a ridiculous indictment” for which parallel cases are almost always closed. He called the case “a personal political crusade” against him, though he did not name who was targeting him.
Hazan lawyer Efraim Dimri has said the context of the incident was that Hazan was considering running for mayor of Ariel.
“The case should have been closed,” Dimri, and another Hazan lawyer, Zion Amir, said in September. “This was an incident between two politicians who issued mutual complaints, and it is as irrelevant as it gets. But now that the decision has been made, we will fight it in court, until the truth comes to light.”
If Hazan is convicted, then, because the crime involves moral turpitude, he would have to quit the Knesset.Gil Hoffman contributed to this story.