Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
ordered Israel Police on Thursday to open an investigation under against a judge suspected of beating his three children.
Suspicions of the judge's alleged offences have been circulating for three years, but the Justice Ministry
stated that the delay in the launch of the investigation was due to an "administrative error."
"Following a consideration of the circumstances at this time, including those relating to this delicate and complicated family situation, the attorney general decided to order the judge's investigation under warning," the Justice Ministry's statement said.
The statement also commented on the long delays in its handling of the affair: "We regret the unnecessary delays in the affair's treatment and in the various inquiries the attorney general conducted to complete the picture. These were caused partly by an administrative error.
"Nevertheless, the attorney general is of the opinion that in such a delicate family matter it is better to complete the necessary inquiries before reaching a decision."
The judge's lawyers, Eli Zohar and Roi Belcher, said in response to the decision to open a criminal investigation that they "regret the attorney general's decision. We have no doubt the investigation will end without any proceedings against the judge."
Attorney Belcher said earlier on Thursday that the judge's family underwent a crisis, but has managed to overcome it.
"It's enough to see the texts they sent their father yesterday to see how much they support him," Blecher stressed. "They live together today."
According to the lawyer, "the affair started a few years back, when a difficult divorce
affected the children. The judge needed counseling on how to deal with this situation. The counseling helped, the family
overcame the difficulties."
He added that the family is going through hard times because of the affair.
The judge announced Thursday morning his decision to go on voluntary leave.
Aviel Magnezi contributed to this report
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