Israel Recommends Case Against Judge Be Closed Due to Lack of Evidence

Justice Yoram Danziger may not be allowed back on Supreme Court bench.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador is recommending that a corruption case against Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger be closed due to lack of evidence.

If Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein accepts the recommendation, it will be difficult for Danziger to return to the court after a six-month absence because the reason Lador gave is the scope of the evidence rather than his belief that Danziger is innocent.

Yoram Danziger
Tali Mayer

Weinstein is expected to reach a decision within a month.

Danziger, who has been on leave since August, has been questioned about his dealings with Bat Yam Mayor Shlomo Lahiani, who is being charged with fraud. Lahiani and other municipal officials are also accused of taking bribes and laundering money.

Danziger is the first Supreme Court justice who has been questioned under caution. The police recommended closing the case.

Danziger's firm is suspected of providing Lahiani with free legal advice eight years ago, after Lahiani was elected as mayor and while Danziger was serving on the Supreme Court, while Danziger's law firm received more than NIS 800,000 for legal services to the Bat Yam municipality.

Danziger is also suspected of presenting false information to Union Bank, where Lahiani had his bank account.

Danziger took leave from the Supreme Court immediately after it was decided that he would be questioned under caution.

In the past few weeks he has begun writing decisions concerning cases he presided over before taking leave, but he has not returned to the bench.

His lawyers met with Weinstein and Lador, explaining why the cases should be closed due to lack of guilt and well aware that any other decision would prevent Danziger from returning to the bench.

Critical of delay

Supreme Court officials have been critical of the fact that Lador's decision was delayed for so long, and noted that since Danziger took leave, and since the retirement of justices Ayala Procaccia and Edmond Levy, the court has been functioning with only 12 of 15 justices.