NGO asks High Court to force Netanyahu to appoint justice minister

Netanyahu must step down immediately due to corruption charges, the Movement for Purity of Ethics said.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (L) and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R)
The Movement for Purity of Ethics requested on Wednesday that the High Court of Justice force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately appoint an acting justice minister following his firing of Ayelet Shaked earlier this week.
Shaked officially ceased to serve as justice minister on Tuesday afternoon, automatically making Netanyahu the default acting justice minister until he appoints a replacement.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandlelblit had already told the prime minister that he could not serve as acting justice minister because of the likely bribery indictment he faces.
Accordingly, the petition said that Netanyahu was violating Mandelblit’s directive and putting himself in a position of having a massive conflict of interest by holding specific authority over the state prosecution at the same time as he is likely to face indictment within the next six months.
Further, the petition said that Netanyahu himself must vacate the post of acting justice minister immediately regardless of other considerations.
Netanyahu is expected to appoint a mid-level Likud MK as acting justice minister following Yariv Levin’s refusal to take the ministry in a mere acting capacity since he is only interested in the position in a permanent capacity so that he can carry out major changes to the legal system. 
Also on Wednesday, the Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel filed a petition to the High Court asking that it place Netanyahu in contempt for ignoring a court order.
In a previous court hearing, Netanyahu agreed to provide financial documents to the State Comptroller committee as part of the legal proceedings over whether he has the right to get his legal defense of the public corruption charges paid by some of his tycoon allies.
He has refused to provide the documents following accusing the committee of previously improperly leaking damaging information to the press out of his financial documents.
Although the committee already has given Netanyahu an extension to provide the financial documents until June 12, the petition says that the prime minister has already dragged his feet for months – long enough to have violated the prior court order on the issue.