(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger petitioned the High Court of Justice on Wednesday against the decision of Attorney General Menahem Mazuz, who called on Metzger to resign following the "Jerusalem hotel scandal."
In the petition, Metzger's attorneys wrote that Mazuz's call tainted his good name and honor, and that he was not given a chance to give his side of the story.
To publish such a "lethal" report, to "destroy" a man's public image, and only then to come and say that in the future he can have a chance to defend himself is a childlike ploy, said Metzger's attorneys.
Police began to investigate Metzger in December 2004, following an investigative report on Channel 2 television which charged that he and his family had stayed at the David Citadel hotel in Jerusalem over the week-long Pessah holiday without paying for room or board.
In his report, Mazuz wrote that "a very close examination of the evidence in the file indicated... that investigators had not found a sufficient factual basis that offered a reasonable chance of indicting [Metzger,] as required in order to win a criminal conviction, even though some of the incidents approached the required threshold.
"At the same time, we found that in view of the significant flaws in Metzger's behavior and his way of conducting himself, it would be appropriate in these circumstances were he to assume personal responsibility and decide himself to resign from his job as a judge of the Supreme Rabbinical Court and as chief rabbi. He should do so out of recognition of the importance of the dignity and status of the institution of the Chief Rabbinate and the system of rabbinical courts. I hope he will do so."
Mazuz added that if Metzger did not voluntarily resign, "the Minister of Justice ought to consider bringing his case before the Dayanim [rabbinical court judges] Selection Committee in accordance with Article 16a of the Dayanim Law, to consider ending his term in office."