Daily Israel Report

High Court: Why Not Prosecute MK Zouabi, Sheikh Salah?

Nationalists turned to court after State decided not to prosecute the two over Mavi Marmara participation.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/4/2012, 11:46 AM

MK Zouabi in court
MK Zouabi in court
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The High Court for Justice has instructed the Attorney General and Legal Advisor to the Government to publish the reasons for his decision not to press charges against MK Hanin Zouabi (Balad) and Islamic Movement inciter Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, for their participation in the Mavi Marmara provocation.

The High Court motion was filed by MK Michael Ben-Ari, Atty. Itamar Ben-Gvir and the Our Land of Israel movement, against the decision to avoid prosecution of Zouabi and Salah for their part in the anti-Israel flotilla action that culminated in a brutal attack on IDF soldiers, who responded with lethal force in self-defense.

The motion asked the court to instruct the Legal Advisor to the Government to publish the reasoning behind his decision instead of the laconic announcement provided by the Justice Ministry spokesman. By not publishing the reasons, argued Atty. Ben-Gvir, the Legal Advisor was making it difficult to challenge his decision in court.

The state's representative in the session told the High Court judges that she is willing to supply them with details about the lack of evidence and other legal questions regarding the case, but only in a closed-door session. The court was not convinced, insisted that the state publish the reasons and gave the government 30 days in which to do so.

"I hope that the Legal Advisor will understand that there is no way to conduct the debate over the non-indictment of MK Zouabi in the dark," Ben-Gvir said Tuesday. "The public has a right to know why the Legal Advisor closes an investigation against an MK who was a participant in a lynch attack on IDF soldiers. I hope that, following its response, the High Court will consent to our request to put Zouabi and Salah on trial."