The state on Wednesday appealed to the Supreme Court to prevent the broadcast of an investigative report on the prosecution's key witness in the Holyland corruption case.

Channel 2's investigative reporting show "Kolbotek" plans to air the report on Thursday night. The state therefore asked the court to hear its appeal urgently.

The Holyland case, whose most prominent defendant is former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is currently being heard in the Tel Aviv District Court. On Tuesday, however, that court declined to issue a gag order barring the "Kolbotek" report, even though the witness is still in the middle of his testimony: The defense will shortly begin cross-examining him. That prompted the state to appeal to the Supreme Court.

"In a state that upholds law and justice, it's inconceivable that a court should identify the distress the witness is in, identify the potential risk this creates for the propriety of the legal process, yet refrain from offering help," the state wrote in its appeal. "Under these circumstances, the court must prevent the continuation of the media assault on the witness and enable the continued proper conduct of the trial."

The lower court refused to bar the "Kolbotek" report mainly because so many other media outlets have already run reports on this witness that doing so, it said, would be both discriminatory and pointless.

But previous reporting, the state argued, "cannot justify repeated and constantly escalating attacks in the form of reports that have the power to harass the witness."