Courts Administration: Probe Benizri's brother
After Supreme Court sentenced former Minister Shlomo Benizri to four years imprisonment, his brother David waged verbal war against Justice Edmond Levy, calling him 'evil, rude'. Courts Administration director asks gttorney general to probe whether remarks place Benizri in contempt of court, in violation of law punishable with up to three years imprisonment
Courts Administration Director Moshe Gal has asked Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to investigate whether former Minister Shlomo Benizri's brother, David, was in contempt of court for remarks he made against Supreme Court Justice Edmond Levy, who sentenced the former minister to four years in prison for taking a bribe.
In a radio interview, David Benizri slammed the judge, calling him "evil and rude" and applied to him the halachic ruling that anyone making judgments according to law and not the Jewish Law, is "evil, rude and raising his hand to Moses' Torah."
He also claimed that his brother was being persecuted by a small clique, in the name of a cultural war, and that he was not convicted according to Torah law.
In his letter, Gal wrote that Rabbi David Benizri's statements contained harsh remarks against the Supreme Court and against the judge. Copies of the letter were sent to Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish and Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman.
Gal wrote in his letter that Benizri's statements "amount to real contempt with the use of a coarse and brutal verbal attack. This attempt to de-legitimize the legal system and its judges and to make accusations of irrelevant intentions by defaming a judge for a ruling he gave that was based on his professional consideration should be viewed harshly.
"This slander and incitement against the Supreme Court, the establishment itself and its judges – is unacceptable and intolerable, to the point of being in contempt of court," the letter continued.
Gal has requested Mazuz inspect whether Benizri is in violation of article 255 of the Penal Law, which states: Anyone that says or writes anything about a judge or religious arbitrator regarding his tenure with the intention of undermining his status, or publishes defiling words against a judge or religious arbitrator in order to cast suspicion on the trial's proceedings – should be punishabed by up to three years imprisonment."
Earlier this week, Interior Minister and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai also came to Shlomo Benizri's aid, and sent a letter to President Shimon Peres asking he grant the former minister a pardon.
"As a public figure, as a member of the Sephardic community, and as the deputy prime minister, I believe there is no other request for mercy which is more justified. Accepting it is not only required and justified by any criterion, it will also carry a remedy for our friend Benizri and his family, as well as, and especially for a very large circle of citizens," Yishai wrote on behalf of his movement.
"I do not wish to mention the feelings of discrimination, the 'second Israel', the sense of persecution and the bleeding social wound," Yishai wrote to Peres. "The heavy punishment given to Benizri surprised many. He is an outstanding and popular public figure, who helped many. If there is any justification for the amnesty institution – it's in this case."