Choice of New Tel Aviv Attorney Delayed to Give Lawyer From Ramon Case a Chance

The committee charged with appointing the next Tel Aviv district attorney postponed its decision yesterday. The incumbent, Ruth David, is thus likely have her tenure extended for a second time.

As reported in Haaretz yesterday, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador had urged Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander to postpone the committee meeting until Deputy Attorney General Mike Blass determines whether one of the leading candidates is fit to be appointed. The candidate, Ariela Segal-Antler, may be subject to sanctions over her conduct in the trial of former minister Haim Ramon, after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss cited her for "substantive negligence" in the case.

After Hollander refused, Lador appeared before the committee yesterday to make his plea in person. Segal-Antler, he argued, should have a chance to be considered for the position without a "cloud of suspicion" over her.

Segal-Antler also contacted Hollander this week to ask that the meeting be postponed to give her a fair chance to be considered for the office.

But an official in the Tel Aviv district attorney's office was critical yesterday of what she referred to as "foot-dragging" in choosing the new district attorney.


"Why did they suddenly decide to postpone the meeting at the last moment?" she asked. "Don't they know what kind of uncertainty the prosecution has been in for months over the issue of choosing a new district attorney? ... It's isn't good for the work here."

Blass is widely expected to authorize Segal-Antler's candidacy, and sources in the Justice Ministry have said he would likely offer his recommendation within a few weeks.

Lador recently extended David's term until mid-September.

The Justice Ministry said in response that Lador hopes Blass will make his decision quickly. But even if a new district attorney has not been appointed by mid-September, it added, a solution will be found to prevent the office from being left vacant - either by appointing an interim district attorney or by extending David's term again.