Knesset Panel Censures MK for Stealing Colleague's Plant

Video cameras record MK Landver aides extracting plant from office of MK Avraham.

Gideon Alon
Haaretz Correspondent
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Gideon Alon
Haaretz Correspondent

The Knesset Ethics Committee decided on Monday to censure MK Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beiteinu) over the affair of the plant "stolen" a month ago from the office of MK Ruhama Avraham (Kadima).

Censure is the lightest form of punishment available to the Ethics Committee. A decision following four committee meetings on the matter criticizes Landver for entering Avraham's room on three occasions, spending a lengthy amount of time there and exiting accompanied by her parliamentary aides. "MK Landver never received explicit permission, herself or through her aides, to enter MK Avraham's room and remove objects from it. Her actions constitute a serious violation of MK Avraham's privacy," the committee ruled.

The committee decided to issue a notation to Landver because her conduct violated the ethics rules that obligate MKs to preserve the dignity of the Knesset and its members, to behave in a manner appropriate to their status as social leaders and to set a personal example for responsibility, integrity and decency.

The committee said, however, that it was unable to decide between the MKs' contradictory versions, and would transfer its findings to Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik.

Regarding Landver's aides, the committee said that security tapes show them entering Avraham's room on several occasions and exiting with objects from the room and later returning similar objects. The aides are seen behaving in a clandestine manner, glancing right and left and then walking quickly with the items. Nonetheless, the committee did not impose any punishment on the aides because it was only authorized to censure MKs.

The committee noted that Avraham was right to file a complaint against Landver. "Her complaint was found to be justified and worthy and these are not negligible matters, as the media tried to depict them."

The committee rejected Avraham's demand to publicize tapes showing Landver.

The committee includes Haim Oron (Meretz), also includes Reuven Rivlin (Likud), Ami Ayalon (Labor) and Amira Dotan (Kadima?).

Landver declined to comment on the ruling. Avraham welcomed the decision and expressed appreciation for the seriousness with which her complaint was handled.



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