Beinish calls on sides to get serious on negotiations

Judge says gov't not doing enough to find solution to prosecutors' strike; "The destruction is huge, you need to sit intensively,” says Beinish.

By RON FRIEDMAN
December 29, 2010 20:18
3 minute read.
Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch

dorit beinisch 311 Ariel Jerozolimski. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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Supreme Court Judge Dorit Beinish called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to intervene and bring an end to the state prosecutors’ strike, which entered its 43rd day on Wednesday. Beinish called on the sides to sit and negotiate, “Until ‘white smoke’ comes out,” during a court hearing on two petitions requesting the court to force the Finance Ministry director of wages tom negotiate directly with the prosecutors’ representatives.

Beinish said that the government was not acting with enough intensity to find a solution to the strike, which is only intensifying as the two sides fail to find an equitable solution.

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“I fail to understand the way you are running these negotiation,” said Beinish. “It used to be that the sides would meet and sit in a room until white smoke came out. You know that this is no way to run a negotiation. What’s going on with these meetings of yours, taking baby steps is no way to advance. The destruction is huge, you need to sit intensively.”

State Attorney Moshe Lador said in the hearing that the gap between the sides was one of essence. Lador said that the treasury wanted to compare the prosecutors’ terms with that of other sectors and failed to appreciate the unique nature of their job. “If they come to realize that, things will go a lot more smoothly,” said Lador.

Earlier, the prosecutors threatened to escalate the measures of the strike and stop appearing for hearings altogether in response to a compromise offer by PMO director general Eyal Gabai, Tuesday, which the prosecutors said was worse than the offer they had already rejected from the finance ministry. Gabai had offered the state lawyers an eight percent salary increase and 4% increase on expenses.

The prosecutors threatened to cancel the exceptions committee, which allows lawyers to attend certain proceedings that are determined as vital to the public’s welfare. If the committee is canceled, it would mean that the lawyers would no longer show up for proceedings having to do with serious crimes like rape or murder.



On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to intervene, instructing Gabai, to meet with representatives of the Finance Ministry and the lawyers to advise them on ways to resolve the work stoppage.

Meanwhile, the continued prosecutors strike means that more and more trials, hearing, appeals and arraignments are not being heard. On Wednesday, the Petah Tikva District Court, released to house arrest, Tal Mor who allegedly ran over Shneor Heshin in a hit and run accident in June, after the prosecutors failed to show up to the hearing. Mor, who is charged with vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol and narcotics and intentionally leaving the scene of the crime, was released after serving five months in prison, because the prosecutors didn’t file an appeal. Last week the court released convicted pedophile Oren Korido to house arrest for the same reason. The prosecutors are also expected to be absent from Thursday’s verdict hearing in former President Moshe Katzav’s rape case.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak seemed to side with the prosecutors, yesterday when he said in a statement that “The prosecutors fill a uniquely significant role, therefore it is deserving that their employment conditions reflect that reality and society’s gratitude. The situation whereby dangerous criminals are released to the streets because of the strike, is insufferable and must be resolved with all haste.”

Shine Bet Commander, Yuval Diskin also expressed concern over the ongoing strike, saying it risked the danger of insufficient treatment of security related offenses and effective prosecution of terrorism charges. Diskin however praised the prosecutors for showing civic responsibility in their continued handling of cases that dealt with national security.

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