State Prosecutor-designate Lador Filed False Deposition in 2003 Suit

The state prosecutor-designate, Moshe Lador, who was announced late last night, submitted a false deposition in a 2003 lawsuit, according to a ruling issued two months ago by the Jerusalem District Labor Court.

The search committee responsible for choosing a new state prosecutor voted four to one in favor of Lador's appointment. Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann is to submit its decision to a cabinet vote in the coming weeks.

In its ruling on the lawsuit against the state by a former Infrastructure Ministry official, Shlomo Brubander, the court cited "extreme negligence," "impotence" and "numerous failures" on the part of the Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office, under Lador's leadership in 2001-03. The ruling was submitted to Friedmann, who passed it on to the search committee during the vetting process.

In 2001, Brubander, who had worked for the ministry from 1996-2001, sued the state for salary and benefits he claimed were owed him. The court ruled in Brubander's favor after the prosecutor's office failed to respond, but the prosecution did not pay up as ordered.

When Brubander appealed to the High Court of Justice, in 2003, the prosecutor's office asked to have the ruling in the case overturned due to emotional and physical issues faced by the prosecutor who had dealt with it.

In Lador's deposition, submitted in September 2003, he claimed not to know about the events described in Brubander's lawsuit at the time of their occurrence. He said he learned of the events only after speaking to High Court officials shortly before the deposition.

The labor court ruled that Lador's statements in the deposition were false.

"Attorney Lador," the judges wrote in their ruling, "placed all responsibility on the prosecutor and the secretaries of the prosecutor's office, stating that he had no knowledge of the events at the time of the deposition. After hearing Lador's testimony and examining the case files submitted to us by the prosecution during the trial, however, it became clear that the verdicts in the case passed through Lador's hands since he signed them and gave them to the prosecutor, which contradicts Lador's statements in his deposition claiming to have no knowledge of the case."

Lador explained that although he had signed the verdicts, the district prosecutor cannot examine every document that passes through the office.

According to the judges, however, "there is no explanation why there was no supervision of the prosecutor's work. The body of facts presented to us lead us to conclude that the prosecution, as the representative of the state, and despite warnings to its heads, ignored the court's verdicts and rulings."

The court ruled that the files "under the prosecution's management led to a chain of events that in every way can be seen as negligence by whoever was in charge of this case."

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, who received the labor court's ruling two months ago, chose not to appeal to the National Labor Court, rendering the decision of the lower court final.

The Justice Ministry said in response that it did not view the ruling as damaging Lador's suitability for the position.

"It may have been an egregious mistake that occurred during my service in the Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office. In a strained system that deals with tens of thousands of cases, this happens from time to time. I admit there was a serious misstep that became increasingly worse in the system for which I was responsible, but the evidence points to my being intentionally sabotaged by the district attorney. In point of fact I was not aware of the details of the way the case was handled but perhaps the court is criticizing me, justifiably, for the fact that such a malfunction occurred in the prosecutor's office for which I was responsible."