Photo: Gil Yohanan
Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Mazuz: Hirchson threat claim baseless

Attorney general's aides say he found claims by Finance Minister that he was threatened by private detective over reform plans baseless

Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz on Monday ruled as baseless claims by Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson that he was threatened over his plans for fiscal reforms.


Mazuz said Hirchson had told him that a "feeling of persecution" pervaded him while speaking to some reporters.


The Ometz organization for social justice and transparent government had asked Mazuz to investigate Hirchson's claims, arguing that the minister should identify people who threatened him.


Mazuz refused to meet Hirchson's lawyer and asked Hirchson to file a written complaint if he wishes the A-G to launch an inquiry. Hirchson has not complied with the A-G's demand. Mazuz said the finance minister needs to present credible evidence for his office to be able to launch a criminal inquiry.


Mazuz said on January 20, Hirchson described a "feeling of persecution…based on journalistic questions pertaining to different issues."


Hirchson said he and his family had received threats over his plan to reform the Israeli economy.


Hirchson received Mazuz's permission to make a public announcement about the threats at the Caesarea forum two weeks ago.


"In these circumstances, the information presented is insufficient to launch an investigation, and no further information has been submitted. It seems that for the time being there is no place for taking further action," read a letter sent by Mazuz's office to Ometz.


Police: Hirchson should file complaint


Hirchson aides said Mazuz's letter is incomprehensible. "Minister Hirchson is in constant contact with the attorney general and is following his instructions. Two days ago the two discussed the incident. The minister is convinced the attorney general will act on the claims as promised," the aides said.


Ometz Chairman Ariyeh Avineri told Ynet: "We will not relax on that. If there is proof that journalists threatened him, he should publish their names and if not he should apologize to all journalists on whom he had cast suspicion."


Police are planning to ask the High Court to force Hirchson to file a written complaint against those who threatened him.


"We are exploring the possibility of turning to the High Court to force Hirchson to file a written complaint to the attorney general. Finding the truth is of utmost importance in fighting corruption," a police official said.


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.06, 18:48
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