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Public Security Minister Avi Dichter (Kadima) wants to quash an amendment that would automatically expunge a criminal record after seven years, according to a letter Dichter sent to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee recently.

Knesset member Menahem Ben-Sasson (Kadima), who serves as chairman of the committee, which has already approved the bill for its second and third parliamentary readings, says it could save an individual's life from being ruined due to youthful offenses.

Knesset sources yesterday said Dichter's opposition stemmed from the Shin Bet security service's need to know whether criminal records exist to determine security clearance for personnel.

The erasure of the criminal record would apply to misdemeanor charges in cases closed for lack of public interest or lack of evidence.

MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) who proposed the legislation, said there were some 280,000 such cases, including some in which people "stole a popsicle when they were young."