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December 20, 2019 10:41 am

Israel’s Supreme Court Blocks State Prosecutor Appointment by Justice Minister

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Israeli Justice Minister Amir Ohana speaks at a conference in the West Bank, Sept. 5, 2019. Photo: Hillel Maeir/Flash90. – Supreme Court Justice Menachem Mazuz drew ire after blocking the appointment of State Prosecutor Orly Ginsberg Ben-Ari by Justice Minister Amir Ohana (Likud).

The move on Wednesday comes after the retirement this week of former State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel had petitioned the Supreme Court against the appointment.

The organization’s chairman, Eliad Shraga, said “in the midst of a legal process against the charged [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, the person who appointed Minister Ohana to his job and sent him for a very specific task—to eliminate the Prosecutor’s Office—he appoints a person who does not have the required abilities to act in the position,” reported Arutz Sheva.

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Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit also criticized the appointment, saying that Ohana should not have appointed her while in his caretaker position.

Ohana said, according to the report, that Ginsberg Ben-Ari “has served in the Prosecutor’s Office for 28 years, and she has extensive experience in law and finished her law degrees with honors. She is a modest character who has not seen exposure to the media, apparently because of her humble personality.”

He also took on the criticism of the appointment while the country is in political chaos and approaching its third elections in a year, saying on Tuesday, “I haven’t spoken to Attorney Orly Ginsberg Ben-Ari or with any of those presiding over Netanyahu’s files. The Attorney General is the authority on Netanyahu’s files. So what’s the concern? Can she do something against his will?”

Ohana add that “Orly Ben-Ari has more experience than Shai Nitzan did when he was appointed state attorney.”

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