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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Yaron Zelekha will continue to serve as the accountant-general of the Finance Ministry until the government officially decides to terminate his contract, his lawyer, Boaz Ben-Tzur, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Ben-Tzur said the finance minister was not empowered to terminate his client's contract. This was also one of the arguments that Zelekha presented to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss during their meeting on Monday.
Furthermore, Ben-Tzur maintained that Zelekha's contract did not automatically expire at the end of four years, as Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On has maintained. The contract remains in effect until the government takes an active decision to end it. According to the law, said Ben-Tzur, until that happens, Zelekha continues to hold his position.
Underlying all of these formal arguments is Zelekha's claim that Bar-On wants him out because the accountant-general testified against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during an investigation by Lindenstrauss into the sale of the core control of Bank Leumi. Zelekha accused Olmert of intervening on behalf of personal friends while serving as finance minister.
Meanwhile, Zelekha and Ben-Tzur are waiting to see whether Lindenstrauss will decide to issue a protection order barring Bar-On from terminating the contract. Zelekha has not officially asked for the state comptroller's protection. However, MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Aryeh Eldad have done so. Furthermore, Lindenstrauss is empowered to issue such an order without being asked, said Ben-Tzur.
Lindenstrauss will have to decide whether there is a causal connection between Bar-On's refusal to extend Zelekha's contract and the fact that Zelekha blew the whistle on Olmert.
Ben-Tzur added that should Lindenstrauss decide not to issue a protection order and the government formally decide to terminate Zelekha's contract, he would petition the High Court of Justice, charging that the government decision was unreasonable to an extreme degree and should therefore be annulled.
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