Selected state prosecutor lauded, slammed

Former Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman defends Shai Nitzan's appointment, saying he is 'not politically biased' as right-wing groups claim. Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin notes Nitzan harshly criticized in past over claims of 'selective enforcement of the law'

Former Justice Minister Prof. Yaakov Ne'eman rarely gives interviews. On Tuesday he decided to break his habit over what he referred to as "interested parties chasing headlines" in light of the decision to appoint Deputy Attorney General Shai Nitzan as the new state prosecutor.


"It's such a pity that people are driving a talented and excellent public figure crazy for nothing," he said.


Related stories:


Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin (Likud), on the other hand, said that Nitzan's nomination was indeed legitimate, but that "once again an appointment is being carried out in a fundamentally faulty process. The production line of senior legal system officials continues to operate in the 'one member brings another' method."


Ne'eman praised Nitzan, with whom he worked as justice minister. "He is one of the best people in the Justice Ministry, an excellent and modest candidate for a mission in the public service, a loyal person who can keep a secret and is not looking for headlines and leaked information," he said.


"The proof of his justice is that so far his decisions have been accepted by the attorney general and state prosecutor, and I hope he will continue in the right way of discussing each case in question individually."


Levin tried to avoid addressing the discussion's political aspects, but protested the selection of the search committee, headed by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, which he said eyed Nitzan in advance.


"The worst thing is the attempt to turn the search committee, whose job is to locate candidates and bring them to the government, into an appointing committee which expropriates the government's authority, appoints the prosecutor and presents only one candidate for formal approval.


"This is an anti-democratic move which would have most likely been rejected by the High Court and attorney general himself had it not been an appointment they were interested in," Levin charged.


"In such a situation, there is no wonder that the chosen candidate is a person whose professional stand is controversial, who was harshly criticized in the past over claims of selective enforcement of the law under his guidance, whose practical experience in managing criminal procedures is inferior to that of many senior officials in the State Prosecutor's Office."


'Empty slogans'

Ne'eman rejected these hints. "Shai Nitzan is not politically biased and is not affected by any political background. I have sat with him in many discussions on a variety of issues. He discusses every issue to the point and according to facts without involving politics. Had someone else been selected, people would have said he is biased against the Arab public. These are all empty slogans by people looking for wrong headlines," the former minister said.


A senior Justice Ministry official said Monday night after the decision was made to appoint Nitzan that "the campaign aimed at influencing the search committee, as if the result was known in advance and Nitzan was favored by Weinstein, was an ugly spin which caused a lot of anger among the committee members."


Attorney General Weinstein told the committee members that he would not be affected by "elements trying to intimidate the committee through the media."


The committee's selection is essentially just a recommendation to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is now expected to present Nitzan's nomination to the government. These appointments are usually accepted, but in light of right-wing group's objection to Nitzan's appointment, there may be an attempt to thwart the appointment in the government.


If the appointment goes through, Nitzan will replace Lador next month.


Moran Azulay contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 11.19.13, 15:52
 new comment
This will delete your current comment