Shai Nitzan, the deputy state prosecutor for administrative affairs, is currently the leading candidate to become the next state prosecutor. Others who submitted their candidacy include Central District Prosecutor Rachel Shiber; Avia Alef, the head of the economic department at the State Prosecutor's Office; Eitan Maoz, a private-sector attorney; and the head of the Israel Police's investigations and intelligence division, Yohanan Danino.
The search committee tasked with finding Eran Shendar's replacement held its first meeting yesterday. The committee is headed by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, and also includes Justice Ministry Director General Moshe Shilo; Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander; Rachel Toran, who chairs the Israel Bar Association's criminal forum; and Professor Miriam Gur-Arye.
A second meeting has been scheduled for after the holidays, at which point the panel will decide whether to reach out to other candidates of its own choosing. Once the committee decides which candidates to invite for interviews, the list will be published.
At their first meeting yesterday, committee members debated the characteristics and skills needed by a state prosecutor. The committee, which has about two months to do its job, can present Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann with a sole candidate, and is expected to do so. However, it could also pick more than one candidate. Mazuz and Friedmann disputed this issue in recent months, and it was decided that for the current appointment, the committee will be allowed to submit only a single candidate, which the cabinet may then accept or reject.
Nitzan, with a wealth of experience in criminal cases, including Supreme Court appearances, is the leading contender from within the system, though he lacks administrative experience. He could, however, face stiff competition if the search committee decides to tap an outsider to shake things up at the State Prosecutor's Office.
Unlike during the selection process that produced Shendar in 2004, this time, the search committee intends to lay great emphasis on choosing an attorney with criminal experience, which is the mainstay of the state prosecutor's job. It particularly wants someone experienced in handling convoluted cases that involve senior officials, as that is the sort of case that typically winds up on the attorney general's desk.