The race to become the next state prosecutor is shaping up as a contest between two main contenders: Shai Nitzan, assistant for special tasks to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, and Shuki Lemberger, the current prosecutor’s former deputy for criminal affairs.
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The search committee, chaired by Weinstein, is to meet today. After the four candidates have been interviewed, the panel will select a successor to Moshe Lador, whose term ends next month.
Sources in the State Prosecutor’s Office say Weinstein, who makes the final decision, wants Nitzan for the job. Still, Weinstein is said to be aware that Lemberger is widely admired, and that Weinstein could be heavily criticized if his deputy is chosen.
In recent days district prosecutors have reportedly considered telling the committee that Lemberger is the best man for the job. But they held back after some said it would be improper to intervene in the panel’s deliberations. Criminal prosecutors also considered backing Lemberger, who has supported them in the past, but feared that such a move would backfire.
Nitzan is known for putting right-wing activists on trial and his connections in the security establishment. Lemberger, who has a lower profile, reportedly told associates he decided to vie for the job after a Tel Aviv district prosecutor’s car was blown up last week.
Meanwhile, right-wing activists tried yesterday to thwart Nitzan’s appointment after members of the search committee dismissed their objections. The group Hamateh Lema’an Eretz Israel said an investigation had been launched against Nitzan for providing an affidavit to help obtain a residency permit for a left-wing activist related to his cousin. But the police said no such investigation had been launched.