New state prosecutor to take over Olmert, Hirchson cases

Moshe Lador's appointment is still pending the final approval of the cabinet.

moshe lador 248 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
moshe lador 248 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Former Jerusalem district attorney and Harvard graduate Moshe Lador was chosen late Monday night by a special search committee to replace Eran Shendar as state prosecutor. The appointment is pending the final approval of the cabinet. Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann is expected to seek final approval at next Sunday's cabinet meeting. Lador, an expert in criminal law, presently represents Mordechai Yona, CEO of the bankrupt Heftsiba construction firm. Lador left the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office in 2003, with 25 years of public service under his belt, after losing to Shendar for the previous state prosecutor's appointment. Sources in the State Attorney's Office said Tuesday that with several criminal investigations currently underway against, among others, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and former finance minister Avraham Hirchson, and the Supreme Court's decision on former president Moshe Katsav's plea bargain still in the offing, Lador's extensive criminal law experience made him particularly attractive. The search committee had approached him even though he had earlier declined to present his candidacy. Attorney Yair Golan, who specializes in criminal law and defended former defense minister Yitzhak Mordechai in a sexual harassment case, in which Lador served as prosecutor, said Lador was the right man at the right time. "The State Attorney's Office is suffering from a public-image problem from without and is wracked with dissension from within, especially after the Katsav indictment," said Golan, referring to the controversial plea bargain reached between Katsav and the state prosecutor, under which Katsav was not charged with rape. "Lador is a modest man - he grew up on a kibbutz," he said. "He has integrity and leadership qualities that are desperately needed right now. His impeccable work ethics and disarming straightforwardness can raise the State Attorney's Office from its present state of mediocrity." Golan refrained from openly criticizing Shendar. Lador, 63, is married and the father of three. He has a bachelor's degree in law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Lador quickly rose to the position of Jerusalem DA and oversaw some of the most important, sensitive and complicated criminal cases of recent decades, including the stock-manipulation scandal that resulted in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange crash of 1983, the Promedico case, which involved Teva Pharmaceutical's former CEO and president Eli Hurvitz, and Mordechai's sexual harassment case.