Lawyers' strike expands, courts paralyzed
Government attorneys will no longer sign plea bargains or other agreements with the state except in the most extreme circumstances, and only if the specific case is approved by the strike committee.
The prosecutors' strike gained momentum yesterday as district attorneys, deputy state prosecutors and State Prosecutor's Office department directors added their support to the government attorneys now in the second week of a nationwide strike.
Riding on that wave of support, strike organizers announced yesterday that state prosecutors would limit their judicial activity even further. Government attorneys will no longer sign plea bargains or other agreements with the state except in the most extreme circumstances, and only if the specific case is approved by the strike committee.
Following their meeting yesterday, the attorneys union issued a statement saying that the work of district attorneys and State Prosecutor's Office department heads would be limited to passing cases over to the strike committee, and that they would not take on any cases not approved by that panel.
Asked in the Knesset yesterday about the prospects for finding a solution to the dispute, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman called on prosecutors to end the strike immediately, while also promising to push the Finance Ministry to meet attorneys' demands for higher pay and better work conditions.
Yesterday the Upper Nazareth Magistrate's Court cleared a man accused of serial fraud because the state prosecutor failed to appear in court.
Also yesterday, the evidentiary phase in the trial of Ze'ev Rosenstein - the convicted drug kingpin suspected of involvement in three murders in 2001 - was postponed due to the absence of a prosecutor.
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