Why has Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
been withholding an investigation into alleged child abuse involving a judge for more than two years?
On Thursday, the Israel
Courts Directorate issued a statement saying that the judge has decided to take leave "because he felt it was the right thing to do." The attorney general is now considering whether to order a criminal investigation into the alleged abuse.
On Wednesday, Kol Yisrael reported that Israel Police
have been waiting to question a judge from central Israel for three years over suspicion that he beat his children.
Police have collected testimonies from his children and wife but are still awaiting the attorney general's approval to question the suspect, seeing as he is a judge.
Weinstein's office said that welfare services have recently stated that the children are "highly functional, without any foreseen difficulties and are in constant contact with their parents."
It was further stated that according to reports, there were no other complaints of child abuse other than those reported over two years ago.
In October 2009, a school attended by one of the suspect's children informed welfare services that the boy had confided about his father's violent acts to a teacher.
The social worker said that under the circumstances, police should not be involved and that authorities should offer therapy, subject to the father's consent. The social worker eventually reported the matter to the police in June 2010 following an additional report of abuse.
The suspects' children were questioned by child interrogators in November 2010 and the matter was turned over to the attorney general in January 2011.
The AG's office explained: "After considering the circumstances of the case and taking into account the best interest of the children and other considerations concerning the children's relationship with their parents, the attorney general felt there was no room for an interrogation of the judge before further checks are made regarding the current status of the relationship between the children and the father."
Weinstein said that he decided not to pursue an investigation "to ensure that the damage which could be caused to the relationship as a result of a criminal investigation does not outweigh the benefit."
It was further stressed that the AG's primary concern was the children's best interest.
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