Neeman meets with A-G candidates

Neeman meets with A-G ca

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman held interviews on Monday with the four candidates for the post of attorney-general, who were short-listed by the search committee. The task fell to Neeman to recommend a candidate after the five-person committee charged with doing so failed to agree on a single candidate in the allotted time. Neeman met face to face with three of the candidates: attorneys Yehuda Weinstein and Zvi Agmon and Prof. Yedidya Stern, and held a phone interview with the fourth candidate, Prof. Daphna Barak-Erez, who is currently in the United States on sabbatical. A source in the Justice Ministry characterized the interviews as a formality required by the government. Because the search committee failed to fulfill its mandate, its nominations are not binding, but it is estimated that the final candidate will be one of the four applicants who received the supporting votes of three out of five committee members. In an interview with Army Radio on Monday morning, Neeman said the candidates would be selected based on their suitability for the post as it exists now and without taking into account the possible splitting of the attorney-general's role, an issue being hotly debated in political circles. "A person's candidacy is determined solely by his or her characteristics," said Neeman. "Since I am not a member of any political party, I am objective in this matter and treated it with all due statesmanship and avoided political games." Neeman is considered one of the main initiators of the idea of splitting the attorney general's role into two parts: legal adviser to the government, and prosecutor-general. Last week, retired Supreme Court justices Meir Shamgar, Aharon Barak and Aharon Zamir sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, advising against rushing to split the position.