Jerusalem District Court President Moussia Arad, head of the panel judging former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, will retire in October, after handing down the trial's verdict.

The courts administration appointed a search committee on Monday to find a replacement for Arad. The panel will be headed by Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut and will include Tel Aviv District Court President Dvora Berliner and head of courts administration, Judge Michael Spitzer.

The leading candidate to take Arad's place is David Cheshin, president of the Nazareth District Court. Jerusalem District Court judges Jacob Zaban and Zvi Segal have also been named as candidates, but senior judiciary sources say Cheshin is the most likely choice.

Cheshin had been a candidate for the Supreme Court after serving on it on a temporary basis, but he failed to muster the required support during Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch's term.

Consequently he asked to retire in 2009, but changed his mind when he was offered to preside over the Nazareth District Court.

Cheshin is held in high esteem by Supreme Court President Asher Grunis and others. He is a distant relative of retired Supreme Court Justice Mishael Cheshin.