PM Netanyahu speaks at weekly cabinet meeting .
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)
Using attorney Jacob Weinroth to represent the Likud and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu personally is a conflict of interest, Likud Comptroller Shai Galily wrote in a letter to Likud director-general Gad Arieli Thursday night.
Galily made the ruling following media reports that Weinroth would represent Netanyahu in the lawsuit the Prime Minister’s Residence’s former superintendent Manny Naftali filed last week against Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, for alleged labor misconduct.
The Likud hired Weinroth for the High Court of Justice case against Likud Convention chairman Danny Danon over a dispute on Likud procedural issues that could have led to Netanyahu losing control of his party’s agenda.
Galily said Netanyahu cannot receive personal services from someone who provides him services as head of the party, because that would mean the prime minister supervises Weinroth and is responsible for his salary, while being personally dependent on him.
The Likud comptroller quoted from the law prohibiting a mayor’s personal lawyer to represent the municipality that he heads and vice-versa.
“Because of this, I ask once again – after you ignored my previous letters – that you show me the party’s contract with Weinroth for his representation of the Likud in the High Court,” Galily wrote to Arieli.
Earlier this month, Galily demanded that Netanyahu and Arieli justify the cost of hiring Weinroth, a well-known, pricey attorney, when the party already has a full-time lawyer, Avi Halevy.
A Likud spokeswoman responded that Netanyahu hired Weinroth because Halevy had been overworked by the large number of appeals inside Likud courts. She said Weinroth was also hired to help Halevy because Netanyahu’s court case had to be prepared quickly.