Grunis summons judge over 'altered protocols'

Summons comes after ombudsman upholds complaint that Judge Alshech significantly altered protocols of a case.

Judge VARDA ALSHECH 370 (photo credit: Israel Judicial Branch)
(photo credit: Israel Judicial Branch)
A day after Bar Association leaders called for Judge Varda Alshech to be ousted over an amended protocol, Supreme Court President Asher Dan Grunis on Monday formally summoned Alshech to a discussion.
A spokesman for Grunis’s office said the Supreme Court president wished to speak with Alshech to clarify matters following a decision by Judge Eliezer Goldberg, the ombudsman for complaints against judges, to uphold a complaint that Alshech substantially altered the protocols to a case.
The Bar Association filed a complaint against Alshech in 2011 after a lawyer who had taken part in a hearing before the judge regarding a company liquidation identified differences between the protocol he received immediately after the hearing and another copy he received months later.
The meeting between Grunis and Alshech, who is the Tel Aviv District Court deputy president, will take place in July, immediately upon Alshech’s return from a sabbatical abroad, Grunis’s office said – although the exact date of the meeting has not yet been specified.
Attorney Efi Nave, chairman of the Tel Aviv District Bar Association, praised Grunis’s decision to summon Alshech for a discussion.
“I respect and congratulate President Grunis for his speedy response and for listening to the public,” Nave said, adding that he hoped the Supreme Court president would adopt Judge Goldberg’s conclusions in upholding the complaint against Alshech.
“Tens of thousands of lawyers are looking up to the Supreme Court president to strengthen public confidence in Israel’s judiciary,” Nave added.
On Sunday, Nave and the chairmen of the country’s four other Bar Association districts gathered for a rare press conference, calling for Alshech to be ousted.
Nave, together with Jerusalem chairman Asher Axelrod; Haifa chairmen Yosef Haham; southern district chairman Danny Alyagon; and northern district chairman attorney Khaled Zo’abi, said they decided to collaborate because of the importance of the issue.