Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan
Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
Text size

Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan has withdrawn his candidacy for head of the Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office after he realized the current deputy Jerusalem district prosecutor is to get the job.

The successful candidate, Nurit Litman, was supported by State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, whose choice is reportedly based on a desire to maintain stability in the District Prosecutor's Office by promoting from within, as well as a desire to convey a message that the job is one to which people serving in the State Prosecutor's Office can aspire, and not one into which senior figures in the state prosecution are brought.

The race for the position of Jerusalem district prosecutor has been a tense one, with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein supporting Nitzan and Lador supporting Litman.

Sources in the Justice Ministry said Weinstein views Nitzan's departure as a loss and would like to see him remain in the Justice Ministry.

The sources told Haaretz yesterday that Nitzan, who will be leaving his position as deputy state prosecutor at the end of February, will instead apply for the position of deputy attorney general to replace Mike Blass, who will end his term in March.

Litman, considered the natural choice, was chosen by the members of a search committee convened by the Civil Service Commission, headed by retired Judge Dan Arbel.

Litman, 46, began her career in the prosecution in 1989 as a law clerk. She is considered one of Lador's proteges from the days when he was Jerusalem district prosecutor. She prosecuted the massive embezzlement case of bank clerk Eti Alon at the Trade Bank and a bribery case against former Minister Shlomo Benizri, among others.

Nitzan has been the State Prosecutor's Office liaison to the Shin Bet security service and approved administrative arrests and restraining orders keeping individuals out of certain areas of the country. For this reason, he has angered many on the right who believe he is politically persecuting them. For years, protests have been held from time to time in front of Nitzan's house. He has also received late-night phone calls and his children have been harassed. In January, security guards were stationed around his home after a video clip was posted on the Internet calling for his murder, claiming that he does not investigate incitement against Jews but only against Arabs. The producer of the clip was caught and tried.

In other moves at the State Prosecutor's Office, Deputy Central District Prosecutor Ronit Amiel moved into the number one post at the Central District Prosecutor's Office, as expected, replacing Rachel Shiber who is retiring from the post.

Amiel, 51, was the prosecutor in the case of former President Moshe Katsav, who was convicted for rape and other sex crimes. Amiel, like Litman, began her career in the State Prosecutor's Office as a law clerk.

The call for applications for Nitzan's post is to begin next week, as reported in Haaretz. A front-line contender for the job is Jerusalem District Prosecutor Eli Abarbanel.