Comptroller: 3 judges given sports tickets illegally

Three judges who illegally served on the Israel Basketball Association disciplinary committees were given free entry to all-league, all-star, championship and Euroleague basketball games in Israel, the State Comptroller revealed on Tuesday. The disclosur e came following a query by the head of the Knesset State Audit Committee, Meli Polishook-Bloch, one day after Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz issued new government guidelines to elected officials and civil servants regarding "Acceptance of invitations an d tickets to shows and events." State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss told Polishook-Bloch the findings were part of an investigation by his office into the affairs of the Basketball Association in the context of the annual State Comptroller's Report. H i s office has been investigating the Basketball Association for the past two months. The investigators found that the judges had not received permission from the President of the Supreme Court or the Minister of Justice to work for the Basketball Associ at ion as required by law. In a statement issued later in the day, Lindenstrauss said: "Judges should not be involved in judicial duties in sports associations, and the practice of handing out tickets for free to public servants, including judges, should be prohibited totally and immediately." "Judges, like elected officials, are supposed to provide a personal example and their conduct should be impeccable. Unfortunately, the current inspection reveals breaches in one of the last institutions in which t he p ublic still had confidence," Polishook-Bloch said. lh