Cabinet to vote on A-G next week

Cabinet to vote on A-G n

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman formally nominated criminal lawyer Yehuda Weinstein to the post of attorney-general at the cabinet meeting on Sunday. The ministers will have a week to deliberate before voting on the nomination at next week's cabinet meeting. Neeman's office released a statement saying that the minister had chosen Weinstein after examining the notes of the search committee, holding conversations with those who had recommended Weinstein and conducting personal meetings with all of the candidates. Weinstein is considered one of the top criminal lawyers in Israel and has represented some of Israel's biggest names, among them Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, former president Ezer Weitzman and former Shas chairman Aryeh Deri. He was also part of former prime minister Ehud Olmert's defense team, working on the Rishon Tours double-billing case and on the Talansky affair. Weinstein, 65, started his legal career in the Chief Prosecutor's Office. In 1979 he left public service and opened a private law office, where he went on to argue some of the most high-profile cases in the country's legal history. Weinstein has been discussed for the attorney-general's role once before, in 2004, but withdrew his candidacy before the final decision was made and Menahem Mazuz was chosen. The decision to nominate a candidate for the role of attorney-general fell to Neeman after a special five-person search committee failed to agree on a single candidate within the allotted time and ended up proposing four candidates, narrowed down from a list of 11. The list shrunk further when Yedidya Stern, a leading candidate and a law professor at Bar-Ilan University backed out of the race, saying he would have preferred to see that attorney-general's responsibilities split.