State Prosecutor 'Shocked' by Arrest of Former Tel Aviv District Attorney

Shai Nitzan calls the investigation of the ex-prosecutor on suspicion of mediating bribes 'an unprecedented event.'

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State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan speaks at Bar-Ilan University, December 25, 2014.
State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan. Credit: Moti Milrod

State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan says he is shocked by the arrest of Ruth David, a former Tel Aviv district attorney.

“Clearly I can’t give details about the investigation, but I saw fit to address it in light of recent developments,” Nitzan wrote in a letter sent Wednesday night to all prosecution staffers. “I’m aware that this is a real shock for all of us. The investigation and arrest of a former prosecutor, and certainly such a senior one, is an unprecedented event.”

“I’m convinced that despite this difficult incident, we’ll all continue to work as we always have, in the spirit of the values of the rule of law and the public interest, with fairness, integrity and professionalism,” he continued. “We have always believed that everyone is equal before the law.”

David was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of mediating a bribe, obstructing justice and ethics infractions, as part of a sprawling investigation centering on attorney Ronel Fisher.

Fisher is suspected of having offered his clients information from police investigations in exchange for payment, and of having in fact accepted payment for this purpose. David, who joined Fisher’s firm as a partner after leaving the civil service, is suspected of having contacted other suspects in the case on Fisher’s behalf in an effort to coordinate their testimony.

Attorney Ruth David in court in Jerusalem, May 6, 2015. Credit: Emil Salman

The Justice Ministry is now investigating whether David also committed crimes during her years in the civil service. Her attorney, Yair Golan, denied Thursday all the allegations against her.

Fisher himself was remanded for another five days Thursday At the hearing in the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, his attorney charged that contrary to the court’s orders, Fisher still hasn’t been given his clothing and personal effects.

The prosecutors union also issued a statement voicing shock at David’s arrest.

“We’re all stunned to hear of the criminal suspicions against a former district attorney while she was serving as a criminal defense lawyer,” the statement said. “But this rare case, if it turns out to be true, cannot cast a stain on the entire community of prosecutors, who do their work dedicatedly and faithfully, with the public good and defending the rule of law always before their eyes.”

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