Court hearings canceled as government prosecutors strike

Disputes over salaries, work conditions cause chaos; Courts Administration didn't instruct judges how to deal with absences, spokesman says.

By DAN IZENBERG
November 17, 2010 04:08
1 minute read.

 
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Chaos reigned in the courts on Tuesday, the first day of an open-ended strike declared by the government prosecutors over their salaries and work conditions, as some hearings were held in the sole presence of the defense lawyers, while others were canceled.

A spokesman for the striking prosecutors said the Courts Administration did not instruct the judges how to deal with the fact that the prosecutors were not showing up for trials.

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The Courts Administration spokeswoman did not reply to a phone call from The Jerusalem Post seeking to clarify the matter.

One hearing that was cancelled was that of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, whose trial is meant to take place three times a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

According to Channel 10, the prosecutors’ strike committee refused to make an exception for the attorney who participated in the police investigation of Boaz Harpaz, suspected of forging the “Galant document.” The police have recommended indicting Harpaz and senior Justice Ministry officials were due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the case.

The meeting took place without the attorney, even though he is the Justice Ministry employee most familiar with the case. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is due to decide whether to press charges, pending the outcome of a hearing, or not.

The prosecutors said Tuesday there was no communication with the Finance Ministry and that Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman appeared to be indifferent to the situation.

Meanwhile, Yori Geiron, chairman of the Israel Bar Association, expressed support for the striking prosecutors in a letter to Neeman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.



“The prosecutors’ struggle is being conducted, in the final analysis, so that the state prosecution will be able to continue to fulfill its professional function and public responsibility successfully and faithfully,” he wrote.


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