Israel Bar Association head Avi Himi called for the police investigation of a lawyer, who accused him of sexual bribery and released a video of him masturbating, so that he can clear his name, in a letter sent to the national crimes and corruption unit Lahav 433 on Monday morning.
Himi told the police that his reputation and life had been destroyed in the media through the publication of the intimate video and the accusation by attorney Ruth Kolian. Kolian claimed that when she sought Himi’s recommendation for a judgeship, he masturbated in front of her in a video call.
The letter registered a complaint against Kolian and called for an investigation into the defamation and incident so that he could also present his version of the events.
Himi gave permission to investigators to access his electronic devices and restore all messages exchanged between him and Kolian.
The former Bar association head initially told Channel 13, who had first reported the incident last Monday, that if he had such a relationship, it would have been consensual.
Himi resigned from his position last Tuesday after immense political and civil society pressure. The leading attorney had been a major figure in public criticism of the judicial reforms proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin in early January.
In Sunday's Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Likud MK Tali Gottlieb pointed to Himi's alleged actions as proof of the Bar association's illegitimacy as a representative body on the judge selection committee. The reform proposals would remove the three Bar Association members on the committee.
The accusations are not the first sex-for-judgeship allegations leveled against an Israeli Bar Association head.
In 2019, Efi Nave resigned after he was accused of promoting judicial candidates in exchange for sexual favors. He was suspected of having a sexual relationship with the wife of a magistrate judge who sought to become a district judge and a female lawyer who was appointed as a magistrate judge. The latter took an indefinite leave from the bench.