Jurists call for probe into A-G's office

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL AND TALIA DEKEL
June 28, 2007 23:56
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Warning that the plea bargain deal reached with President Moshe Katsav "will have catastrophic effects in terms of the public belief in the rule of law," former justice minister Amnon Rubinstein blasted Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz's office Thursday, calling on the government to establish a commission to review the office's practices. "If the original indictment was well-founded then the deal is highly unwarranted. But if, on the other hand, the public allegations which received worldwide attention that the president of Israel had committed rape were unsubstantiated and unsupported by evidence, then great damage has been done to the country, as well as the office of the president," Rubinstein said hours after Mazuz made his announcement. Rubinstein added that "this is one in a long line of such allegations made by the State's Attorney and Attorney's-General's office which were later proved to be inaccurate." Rubinstein recommended that the government appoint a commission to probe the way that the Attorney-General's Office decides whether or not to file indictments in key cases. A precedent, he said, always exists for such a committee - the Agranat Commission which delivered its findings in 1962 dealt with the selfsame question. "Such a committee would serve to quell public doubts as to the performance of the Justice Ministry," said Rubinstein. The 1962 commission concluded that though the attorney-general's rulings should be regarded as reflecting the existing law, the government is entitled to decide how it should act in a given case in accordance with its own judgment. Yoram Shachar, professor of Criminal Law at Herzliya's Interdisciplinary Center, described the deal as one that will go down in history as one of the most problematic events in the history of Israeli law enforcement. "The only valid reason for striking the bargain under the unique circumstances of the case could be serious deficiency [of evidence] against the president." Shachar pointed out the complete turnaround Mazuz had made since his announcement to the public that the president would stand trial only half a year ago. "I hope that the dominant reason for the bargain was indeed a lack of evidence and nothing else. But if so, very serious doubts must be raised about the handling of the case so far," said Shachar. "I therefore hope that his only consideration was indeed lack of evidence," he added. "At best the result is extremely confusing to the public," he continued, "...far more so than in the case of Haim Ramon. It takes a unique talent to leave so few satisfied. If there is any mission today for the unique post of attorney-general, it is to lead, heal and clarify. "If this is the case, then Mazuz's decision is a colossal failure," concluded Shachar.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN