Turkel committee to probe Genot appt.

High Court orders panel to debate controversial choice for police chief.

Genot 298.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Genot 298.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Retired Supreme Court Justice Ya'acov Turkel is due to hold a preliminary meeting of the Advisory Committee on Senior Civil Service Appointments on Monday to begin deliberations on the appointment of Israel Prisons Service Chief Warden Ya'acov Genot as police inspector-general, a Justice Ministry attorney told the High Court of Justice on Sunday. According to attorney Dina Silver, the panel headed by Turkel will hold a preliminary meeting but is not ready to consider the nomination itself because Genot has not handed over all the information about himself that is required before substantive deliberations can begin. Nominees for senior positions in the civil service, including the chief of police, must hand over information about their personal and professional records. Silver updated the court on the advisory committee's activities regarding Genot during a hearing on three petitions against his appointment. Two of the petitions asked the court to reject Genot's nomination because he had been indicted on charges of corruption while serving as commander of the northern police district. The third, submitted by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, petitioned against Turkel's decision last week to postpone his committee's deliberations until the High Court ruled on the petitions against Genot's appointment. A panel of three justices - Ayala Procaccia, Edmond Levy and Miriam Na'or - accepted the petition by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel and ruled that the other petitions were premature. The court also ordered Turkel to convene the advisory committee and to consider Genot's appointment immediately. Procaccia, who wrote the ruling, added that the court was leaving open the question of when would be the right time to consider the petitions against Genot. In its response to the petitions, the state had said the earliest that should happen would be the moment Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, after considering the advisory committee's opinion, decides to go ahead and present Genot's nomination to the cabinet. However, Silver told the court the state would not object if the court ruled that the proper time to hear the petitions was after the cabinet had approved Genot's appointment. Procaccia told the petitioners that after the advisory committee submits its opinion, they should submit briefs to the court stating whether they want to continue the legal proceedings and giving their opinions as to when court should hear their petitions. Attorney Boaz Arad, representing the watchdog organization Ometz, tried to persuade the court to rule on the petitions before the advisory committee met. He argued that the committee would only examine Genot as he is today and would therefore approve his nomination. However, the fact that he was indicted on corruption charges in the past meant that the very mention of his name as a candidate damaged public confidence in the police, Arad said. Ometz petitioned the High Court on the day after Dichter announced that Genot was his candidate. The Movement for Quality Government and the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel also opposed the nomination, but wanted to wait for what they considered a more appropriate time to petition, in case Genot's nomination was withdrawn early in the process. The Ometz petition forced their hand.