(photo credit: Courts Administration)
Police could start questioning Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger over his
links with the Bat Yam mayor in the very near future, possibly as soon as
Tuesday, Army Radio reported Tuesday morning.
RELATED:Supreme Court Justice Danziger to be questioned by police
Weinstein made an announcement Monday that he has allowed Danziger to be
questioned under caution in connection with a corruption probe against Bat Yam
Mayor Shlomo Lahiani.
Danziger will be the first sitting Supreme Court
justice in Israeli history to be questioned under caution as part of a criminal
Former justice minister Daniel Friedman criticized Tuesday
the legitimacy of the investigation into Danziger.
“I am not sure that
the investigation is justified. It is a strong blow to the State of Israel,”
Army Radio reported Friedman as saying.
Police are investigating Lahiani,
who is suspected of various instances of corruption during his time as mayor.
Lahiani was arrested in 2009, and the allegations listed in the charge sheet
include fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and theft by a public official
by using public money to pay personal speeding fines.
Police have already
asked Danziger twice for testimony in connection with the “Lahiani Affair.”
Before his appointment to the Supreme Court, Danziger’s private law firm –
Danziger, Kladsbald & Co – had been hired by the Bat Yam
In a statement released yesterday, the Justice Ministry
explained that police wanted to clarify “the circumstances of the appointment of
[Danziger’s] law office by the Bat Yam municipality, and legal services provided
by [Danziger] to the mayor of Bat Yam, Shlomo Lahiani, as well as the integrity
of that relationship.”
Lahiani told Channel 2 that police suspicions
against Danziger were “utter nonsense.”
“You can make headlines in the
newspapers but you can’t make something out of nothing,” said Lahiani.
“[Danziger] is the most honest man I know, and I know a lot of people. He’s a
professional and he knows the law. He knows what’s permitted and what’s not.
He’s not on the make.”
Danziger’s lawyer, Reuven Bahar, who according to
reports met recently with the attorney-general and representatives of the State
Prosecutor’s Office, also said the allegations against Danziger were
“Knowing as we do the circumstances of the matter, we are
convinced that Justice Danziger is not tainted with any criminal or other
activity,” said Bahar. “We hope that the investigation will be conducted and
completed quickly, and that in a short time those carrying out the investigation
will also come to the same conclusion.”
Danziger has announced he
intended to take leave from the Supreme Court pending the completion of the
A source acquainted with Danziger told The Jerusalem Post
that it is likely that Danziger’s decision to take leave of absence from the
Supreme Court was to avoid serving as a judge while he was being investigated.