Photo: Flash 90
The rookie. Mazuz
Photo: Flash 90
Katsav case tangled in red tape
Sources in law enforcement say fail to understand why Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, State Prosecutor's Office seem unable to re-file indictment in case against former president

Nearly five months after former President Moshe Katsav negated on the plea bargain in the sexual harassment case pending against him, the State Prosecutor's Office has yet to file an amended indictment against him.


Sources in law enforcement admonished the Attorney General's Office for its handling of the case, telling Ynet Tuesday that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz was "dragging his feet," and "acting like a rookie."


According to a senior source familiar with the case, the latter is plagued by "serious cumbersomeness when it comes to making decisions. (Mazuz) has to explain why it's taking so long for him to decide whether or not to indict and on what charges."


The Jerusalem District Prosecution, added the source, recommended an indictment be filed less than a month after it was given the relevant material by the police. "If the prosecution could come up with such a detailed recommendation in such a short time, the AG should have been able to do so in five months."


Once Katsav decided to go back on the plea, continued the source, Mazuz was quick to state that the new indictment against him would be far graver and that it would be filed within weeks. "It appears that statement was made for the media's sake. It doesn’t make any sense that five months have gone by and he hasn’t been able to reach a decision."


Out for the summer

Another claim raised against the State Prosecutor's Office in the Katsav case, is that attorney Ronit Amiel of the Central District Prosecution – to whom the case was assigned after the plea bargain debacle – has only held one meeting on the case to date, and is in fact on an extended leave.


"It is unheard-of that the attorney in charge of this case will devote less then her full attention to it, and take so long to decide on the next step," said law enforcement sources.


The Justice Ministry offered the following comment: "Ronit Amiel is a young accomplished attorney who was assigned the Katsav case because she was privy to the proceedings from the start. She has submitted her recommendations and has offered to cut short her academic leave in order to advance the proceedings. The fact that she has been away is in the case's advantage, since she is now free to devote all of her time to it."


As for the claim that the Attorney General's Office is "dragging its feet," the Justice Ministry said that it had "no interest on commenting of what anonymous sources, with whom we are not familiar, said."


First published: 09.02.08, 14:14
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