High Court Declines to Issue Injunction on Ramon Appointment

Rights group wants ex-minister banned from new cabinet post; justice orders PM to respond within 10 days.

The High Court of Justice on Tuesday rejected a petition submitted by a women's rights group asking for a temporary injunction against the expected ministerial appointment of MK Haim Ramon (Kadima).

Justice Salim Joubran turned down the Amona organization's request to postpone the anticipated Wednesday assignment of a new portfolio to the former justice minister, who was convicted of assaulting a female soldier, pending a hearing over the move's legality.

Joubran ordered Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to submit his response to Amona's petition within a 10-day period.

The chair of Amona, Liora Minka claimed in the petition that the appointment of a convicted former minister is "an extremely unreasonable and immoral act, and does not pass any test set in the Supreme Court's ruling as well as the basic public norms."

As a "public trust" the state is required to weigh a candidates' criminal record, the petition claims.

"A crime's severity must be judged not by its legal punitive rank, but by its consequences," it read.

In addition, the short period of time passed since the crime was committed last year is another consideration why the appointment should be barred, according to the petition.