Yacimovich: Liberman intervened during probe

Labor leader says Liberman intervened in police, courts during investigation; presents plan to stop corruption at conference.

Shelly Yacimovich at Labor Central Committee 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Shelly Yacimovich at Labor Central Committee 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich presented a detailed plan to prevent connections between government officials and the wealthy on Sunday, following Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s resignation.
Yacimovich opened the Labor party conference in Tel Aviv by saying that the initiative was not personal and not targeted only at Liberman, but was meant to be a discussion of the future of Israel and its norms.
”This isn’t a popular subject, but we’re discussing it because it’s important and we’re concerned. There needs to be equality before the law,” she stated. “Why should senior government officials get plea deals with luxury conditions?” Yacimovich added that even if someone is not convicted following an indictment, that does not mean he or she is “white as snow,” and called for the public to continue to be critical of such people.
According to Yacimovich, the government in the past few years attacked the rule of law by weakening the courts, the police and the State Comptroller’s Office.
The Labor leader pointed out that, while Liberman was being investigated, he was responsible for selecting the justice minister; the head of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee; a representative to the Judicial Selection Committee; and, indirectly, the chief of police, because Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch is in Yisrael Beytenu.
Former police chief Moshe Mizrahi expressed concern that the public has become used to government corruption trials, and is no longer bothered by them.
“Even if it is not a criminal action, there are things happening that should not take place in a civilized country,” Mizrahi said, mourning the loss of “normative judgment.”
Knesset candidate Miki Rosenthal, a former investigative journalist who specialized in corruption cases and the connection between government and wealth, presented Labor’s plan to make the phenomenon less prevalent.
One of the party’s suggestions to prevent corruption and bolster the rule of law is to strengthen the courts and minimize political influence on them by taking steps such as separating the courts from the Justice Ministry and anchoring a seniority system for judges.
Labor also called for protection for whistle-blowers, as well as an additional 4685 police officers over the course of five years to fortify the police.
In addition, the party hopes to pass a law requiring politicians to disclose their interests to promote further transparency and freedom of information.