Race for Coveted Tel Aviv District Attorney Post Heating Up

The race for the office of Tel Aviv District Attorney is underway. Ruth David, made famous by the state comptroller's opinion published on Monday, will be leaving her post this coming August after a full term of eight years.

In recent days names of possible candidates for the prestigious position have been bruited. The Tel Aviv DA is considered the flagship of prosecutors' offices since it is in charge of large and well-publicized criminal cases.

Among those mentioned in recent days as potential candidates are Gal Levertov, who heads the international department at the State Prosecutor's Office. The glamour of this department has been dulled recently, after the decision was made to establish a task force outside the international department for handling charges against Israel and Israelis abroad - for the most part elected officials and military figures.

Although Levertov is considered the most senior of the candidates mentioned, analysts believe two other candidates, should they decide to run, would be ahead in the race.

The first, attorney Ronit Amiel, is the chief prosecutor in former president Moshe Katsav's sexual assault case. Amiel, currently at the Central District Prosecutor's Office, has won great respect from State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, who selected her to represent the state in the complex case, together with attorney Nissim Merom. It is believed that a guilty verdict in the Katsav case will increase Amiel's chances of winning the appointment as district attorney.

Another outstanding candidate is attorney Rafi Levy, whom many at the district attorney's office consider to be professional and respected, and the natural candidate to replace David.

However, the prosecutor in the case against Haim Ramon, attorney Ariela Segal-Antler, also sees herself as a natural candidate for the exposition. Segal-Antler's associates said yesterday that she sees herself as vying for the position and her petition to the High Court of Justice yesterday against the state comptroller's criticism is aimed, in part, at paving her way to the position.

Another attorney whose name has come up as a potential candidate for the position is Hadas Fuhrer-Gafny. Last year Fuhrer-Gafny submitted her candidacy for the position of Southern District Attorney but she lost to Shlomo (Momi ) Lemberger.