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Lawyer: No to Reelections Based on Rumors

Lawyer for Abutbul questions legality of proposed reelections in Beit Shemesh.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/10/2013, 11:05 PM

Abutbul in court
Abutbul in court
Israel news photo: Flash 90

A lawyer for incumbent Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul has questioned the legality of the current push for reelections, and of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein’s involvement in particular.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, attorney Ilan Bombach said Weinstein’s involvement is hard to understand. There was fraud in the Beit Shemesh elections, he said, but the Attorney General’s decision to personally contest the results is unprecedented.

“The circumstances don’t justify the Attorney General’s involvement,” he argued. Police say would-be fraudsters forged dozens of ID cards and used roughly 36 of them, he said – a situation that, while illegal, could not have change the results of the elections, which Abutbul won by 956 votes.

Bombach was asked about other allegations that were made in the days after the elections, including newspaper reports about disappearing ballots, irregularities in the operation of poll center committees, and more. He dismissed the reports as rumor.

Courts can only rule based on “what the eye sees,” he argued. “One doesn’t order new elections based on hints of rumors.”

“If there were problems, then those who are responsible should be brought to justice… But it’s a long way from there to new elections,” he said. “It’s inconceivable.”

He noted that Weinstein is proposing new elections for the city council as well, which would affect candidates whose victories have not been brought into question. “His appeal is overly extreme,” he charged.

He was reluctant to guess at Weinstein’s motives. “I just hope the court will give a reminder of when to intervene in elections results,” he said.