Knesset panel okays 48-hour media shutout
Bill aims to prevent compromising a suspect's good name, as many investigations do not end up in indictments; Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On calls initiative 'censorship on criminal investigation procedures' and 'a blow to the rule of law.'
The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee yesterday approved for its second and third reading a law proposal that would forbid the release of a suspect's name for 48 hours after the individual is notified of the investigation against him.
The bill aims to prevent compromising a suspect's good name, as many investigations do not end up in indictments.
Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On, however, blasted the bill, saying it constituted "censorship on criminal investigation procedures and a blow to the rule of law, freedom of the press and the public's right to know."
Gal-On said the proposal would enable covering up and whitewashing investigations against public figures in general and sex offenders in particular. "Publication in the media is the safeguard against such cover-ups," she commented.
MK Nahman Shai (Kadima ) said the law would be impossible to enforce and the public would get the information even if the institutionalized media would not be able to release it.