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High Court Judge Accused of Stalling Probe Against Sharon

Former Prosecutor Leora Glatt-Berkowitz said last night that in 2003, then-Atty.-Gen. Rubenstein requested that Justice Ministry officials "not touch the Sharon family."
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/15/2006, 8:26 AM / Last Update: 2/15/2006, 11:14 AM

Glatt-Berkowitz, a former senior official in the Tel Aviv District Prosecution office, spoke with Channel Two interviewer Nissim Mishal last night. She said that before the national elections in 2003, then-Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein - now a Supreme Court Justice - convened the top brass of the Justice Ministry and asked them "not to touch the Sharon family."

The Sharons, especially Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, were the subjects at the time of more than one criminal investigation, including the Cyril Kern and Greek Island affairs.

Rubenstein, in keeping with his judicial position, did not respond publicly to Glatt-Berkowitz's claims. His aides, however, denied the charges, saying that she is apparently still upset at Rubenstein for his decision to indict her in June 2003. Glatt-Berkowitz was convicted last year of having leaked information - in the middle of the 2003 election campaign - about the $1.5 million loan to Sharon and/or his sons by his friend Cyril Kern. She explained at the time that she did it for ideological reasons, in order that Sharon not be elected.

Glatt-Berkowitz's allegations are not the only ones to surface of late against the lazy manner in which the criminal investigations against the Sharons were handled.
David Spektor, for instance, who was a media advisor to Ariel Sharon during the latter's bid to become head of the Likud in place of Binyamin Netanyahu in 1999, has a host of accusations. He told Army Radio this morning that Omri Sharon's conviction of campaign funding violations is only a small part of the crimes he and his family committed - and that are being covered up by the judicial and political establishment.

"You call this a rule of law?" he asked rhetorically.

Last October, MK Ilan Shalgi, then of the Shinui party, asked the Attorney-General to investigate why the police and prosecution were moving so slowly on the Cyril Kern investigation. "The investigation of suspicions that the Prime Minister received a bribe of $1.5 million has taken over three years," Shalgi said at the time. "This must be checked into - particularly in light of the fact that Leora Glatt-Berkowitz said recently that a guiding hand is apparently behind this delay."

In addition, a Likud Party Central Committee member has accusations similar to those of Glatt-Berkowitz. Chaim Yativ, of Kibbutz Har Amasa, accuses Justice Rubenstein of being promoted to the Supreme Court in exchange for delaying the Sharon-Kern investigation. In an open letter, copies of which were sent to leading judicial personalities and the media, Yativ says he has turned three times to the Supreme Court on the matter of the Sharon family corruption, yet has been ignored each time.