Daily Israel Report

Tax Authority Probes Justice Minister

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman is expected to be summoned for a hearing to clarify his fianances for tax authorities.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 2/28/2012, 9:15 PM

Yaakov Neeman
Yaakov Neeman
Flash 90
Tax Authority officials on Tuesday sought approval from Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to summon Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to a hearing.
 
According to a Globes report Tuesday, Tax Authority investigators have carried out a confidential two-year probe into Neeman's financial dealings prior to his appointment as Justice Minister in 2009.
 
The probe dates to his tenure as one of the managing partners of the Herzog, Fox, Neeman Law Office. 
 
This is Neeman's second term as justice minister. His first term was during the first Netanyahu government in 1996-99.
 
During that term, Neeman was indicted on two counts of making a false statement to the Supreme Court in a response to a petition, and providing false statements to the police in an investigation. 
 
Neeman resigned when the investigation was opened, but charged the investigation stemmed from a move by then Attorney-General Ben Yair to prevent his own ouster by Netanyahu and Neeman.
 
He acted as his own lawyer and was found not guilty by the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court in May 1997.
 
Tax Authority officials refused to comment on the investigation. The Attorney General's office also refused to confirm or deny the report. 
 
"The Attorney General does not customarily share confidential information stemming from investigations with the public," a spokesman said.

Reports in the Hebrew-language press say Neeman has sharply criticized public prosecutors for being "trigger happy" in charging public officials.

Neeman has come under fire from left-wing pundits and politicians in recent months due to his strong support for judicial reform, especially in terms of limiting judicial review and greater oversight in the appointment of judges.