Court to state: Explain opposition to disclosure

New gov't policy discourages complainants’ access to the state’s evidentiary file in cases closed for “lack of evidence.”

November 13, 2012 23:28
2 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Court gavel justice judge legal law 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)


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

The High Court of Justice ordered the state on Monday night to better explain a new policy of discouraging complainants’ access to the state’s evidentiary file in cases the state has closed for “lack of evidence.”

On June 14, 2010, State Attorney Moshe Lador issued a directive that discouraged providing such evidentiary material to complainants, on the general grounds that disclosing the evidence could undermine any later efforts by the state to reopen the cases and file charges.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

In July 2011, Yesh Din and two other groups representing victims’ rights, filed a petition demanding the state disclose its evidentiary files in 33 specific cases, and reverse the general policy of discouraging such disclosure.

The petition also asked that any evidence relating to cases closed for reasons other than lack of evidence, such as lack of public interest, be immediately handed over to those requesting it.

In response, on July 20, 2011, the state said it had revised its directives on sharing evidentiary material from closed cases. Now any evidence relating to cases closed for reasons besides lack of evidence would generally be handed over to complainants, absent some special reason not to, the response said.

Regarding cases closed for lack of evidence, the revised directives stated that the state’s initial position should still be to avoid disclosure, but that if a complainant persisted, a prosecutor could decide to provide the evidence if convinced that disclosure would not harm potential future efforts to reopen the case.

The petitioners, while acknowledging that this revision slightly improved the situation, did not believe it was sufficient.

The court ordered the state to provide some basic information to the petitioners within 21 days to allow them to further pursue the petition and possible appeals to reopen the 33 cases.

In addition, the court directed the state to provide evidence relating to the 33 closed cases at least to the complainants’ attorneys, in the event that the state objected to showing the evidence to the complainants themselves.

Another possibility the court suggested was giving the complainants a summary of the evidence in the closed cases, without having to produce all of the evidence.

The goal of the decision, said the court, was to balance the rights of the complainants to have sufficient information to appeal the closure of their cases properly, with the competing value of preventing anything that could contaminate the evidence.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night