Cabinet approves appointment of Shai Nitzan as state prosecutor

After heated cabinet debate, government votes to confirm Shai Nitzan's appointment to position of state prosecutor amid claims of inappropriate intervention by Justice Minister Livni

The cabinet has approved the appointment of attorney Shai Nitzan to the position of state prosecutor.


The votes passed despite the fact that Habayit Hayehudi Ministers Naftali Bennett, Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach voted against the appointment, as did Tourism Minister Uzi Landau from Yisrael Beiteinu – he was the only Likud-Beiteinu coalition member to vote against.


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Earlier Sunday a heated debate ensued within the government over the appointment. Landau demanded to launch an investigation into the appointment after Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that she used her influence with the chairman of the nominee's committee to push Nitzan's candidacy.


The tensions over Nitzan's appointment stemmed from disagreements over the appointment process, with Livni exhibiting what some government members felt was too much pressure on the bureaucrats.


"He wasn’t chosen for Jerusalem's prosecutor, so now all of a sudden he is qualified to be the state prosecutor," Landau rhetorically asked the cabinet.


Bennett was joined by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz in complaining that only one option was presented to the government for confirmation.


According to Bennett, such a thing would never happen in a privately owned company: "Who rules this country: The bureaucrats or the government? The Justice Ministry can be involved in the nominee committee, but if it would have been another minister, he would face trial," Bennett said in reference to Livni's involvement.


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman abstained from the vote because Nitzan could be involved in future appeals by State prosecutors in Lieberman's recently-adjourned graft case.


Shai Nitzan had previously served as deputy attorney general for special matters and was chosen to replace Moshe Lador last month.


At the time, Nitzan said that the nominee "committee's decision is a great honor. The state prosecutor is an important and serious position. I am aware of the extreme responsibility."


However, at the time, he added that "we must wait for the justice minister's decision and the Israeli government's decision. We shall wait patiently."


According to previous reports, Nitzan was the leading candidate for the position all along, and was selected by a majority of votes by the committee, which also interviewed Tel Aviv District Court Judge Avi Zamir, former Deputy State Prosecutor Yehoshua Lemberger and Jerusalem District Court Judge Zvi Segal.



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פרסום ראשון: 11.24.13, 13:27
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