Hanegbi refuses to quit cabinet

Mazuz urges minister to resign following indictment on corruption charges.

tzahi hanegbi 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
tzahi hanegbi 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Sources close to Minister Tzahi Hanegbi said Wednesday morning that he does not intend to resign from his position in advance of next month's elections, despite calls by Attorney General Menahem Mazuz for the minister to resign. "Mazuz offered Hanegbi's sentence before he allowed him his right to respond," said the associates. Mazuz said late Tuesday night that Hanegbi should resign his position following the latest allegations of corruption. "Every day that Hanegbi remains in his position puts a black mark on the government," Mazuz wrote. Mazuz's opinion came in light of the decision to indict Hanegbi following the political appointment scandal in the Environment Ministry. The final decision with regard to the indictment is still contingent on a hearing that has yet to be held. Mazuz added that he believes that Hanegbi should not be appointed as a minister in a new government, even if the proceedings against Hanegbi have not yet been completed. Hanegbi is suspected of appointing workers to the Environment Ministry through illegal means while he was acting as environment minister. The indictment would contain bribery-related charges, as well as charges of fraud, violation of public trust and false testimony. The scandal was revealed in a report submitted by the former state comptroller Eliezer Goldberg, in which he wrote that Hanegbi "trampled all over the law and the norms of proper management."