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Plan To Pardon Police: Judicial Objections, Ministerial Support

Likud MK Moshe Kachlon said today that he plans to initiate a procedure by which all policemen involved in the Israeli-Arab riots of October 2000 will receive an official pardon in advance.
First Publish: 9/3/2003, 10:39 AM

MK Moshe Kachlon (Likud) said today that he plans to initiate a procedure by which all policemen involved in the Israeli-Arab riots of October 2000 will receive an official pardon in advance. He said that the Ohr Commission and its findings have placed the police in an impossible situation. "With dozens of police under suspicion," he said, "they will simply be unable to function. Just as a similar action was taken on behalf of GSS agents under suspicion in the Bus 300 affair several years ago in order to save the GSS, the same thing has to be done now in order to save the police. There will be legal problems and complications, but I trust that the legal system will know how to solve them - because it has to be done."

Attorney-General Elyakim Rubenstein was quick to issue a statement this morning against such a move, saying that the recommendations of the Ohr Commission must be implemented in full. President Moshe Katzav also said today that the idea of a pardon-in-advance is a non-starter. In addition, Supreme Court Chief Justice Aharon Barak is known to have objected to the Bus 300 pardon at the time.

Education Minister Limor Livnat called on the Attorney-General not to "rock the police even more with still more investigations about the Arab riots of three years ago. They can only hurt the functioning of the police."

Minister Uzi Landau, who supervised the country's police department while serving in the previous government as Public Security Minister, said today that the country must provide the best legal protection possible for the accused policemen. "It is the state's obligation to provide legal protection for those who stood on the front line in protecting the rule of law," Landau said.