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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former district attorney Moshe Lador had informed the search committee appointed to recommend a new state attorney that a labor court had accused him of signing a false affidavit in a case before it, the Justice Ministry said Wednesday.
The committee took the matter into account before recommending him to the cabinet as the best man for the job.
"Even though no one filed an objection against Lador's candidacy, the labor court ruling was brought before the committee and taken into consideration before a decision was made," Justice Ministry Spokesman Moshe Cohen said in the statement.
Cohen added that outgoing State Attorney Eran Shendar ordered an investigation into the incident as soon as the labor court ruling was handed down.
According to the statement, the court found that Lador had been involved in an office foul-up, albeit a serious one, which was caused by the grave failure of a state prosecutor. Lador did not deliberately mislead the court and his personal honesty was never in doubt, read the Justice Ministry statement.
The incident under discussion involved a lawsuit filed by Shlomo Brovender, who had held a senior position in the National Infrastructure Ministry between 1996 and 2001. He sued the ministry in labor court, asking it to recognize his salary, pension rights and other benefits. The state prosecution did not submit a defense brief, and did not honor the court's decision to pay the plaintiff his money.
In 2003, Brovender petitioned the High Court of Justice to order the government to pay up. Lador wrote an affidavit saying he had not known about the case and that he had only learned about the details when he discussed the matter with the High Court Section of the State Attorney's Office which was preparing the state's case.
However, Lador had signed documents regarding the case before handing them over to the lawyer who was supposed to be in charge of it. On that basis, the court found that he had not told the truth.
However, the search committee maintained that even though he had signed the documents, he was not familiar with them. This was only natural in a system where he has to sign so many documents before sending them on to individual attorneys.
"Lador did not deliberately try to mislead the court and his honesty and integrity were never held in doubt,' the Justice Ministry added.