Shaked says she feared legal establishement would frame her

Justice Minister admits she didn't want to head ministry out of fear angry legal establishment would trump up charges against her.

Tzvi Lev ,

Flash 90

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked admitted that she had not wanted to accept the Justice Ministry over fears that a legal establishment upset at the vast changes she would make would trump up criminal allegations.

During the coalition negotiations with Netanyahu following the 2015 elections, Bennett told the prime minister that the Jewish Home would refuse to join the government if Shaked was not appointed Justice Minister.

"I did not want the Justice Ministry, I was very afraid of it," Shaked revealed in an interview with Yediot Ahronot.

"Bennett convinced me, [MK Betzalel] Smotrich convinced me. I was afraid that they would open a file on me because for years they said that justice ministers were making changes would end up [framed]" said Shaked.

When asked if she was still afraid of being a victim of false criminal charges, Shaked said that "not really, it was an urban legend, not completely detached from reality- Michael Ben Yair framed Yaakov Ne'eman".

"But I know the heads of the system today and know that they are not the heads of the system back then. [State Attorney] Shai Nitzan and [Attorney General] Avichai Mandeblit won't frame anyone."

Netanyahu had nominated the late Yaakov Ne'eman to be Justice Minister in 1996. Shorty after his impending appointment was made public, he was accused by the media of having given a false affidavit and false witness. Ne'eman resigned immediately, defended himself in court and was fully exonerated and found innocent.

He had strong criticism for the legal department of the Justice Ministry, claiming that false accusations and investigations were being used as a tool to prevent persons from being appointed to government positions, including former Chief of Staff Refael Eitan and current president Rubi Rivlin.

Shaked's popularity has been steadily rising since becoming Justice Minister in 2015 due to a rash of right-wing legislation she has promoted and her successful effort to install conservative justices in the Supreme Court.

Shaked was selected by Forbes Israel in July as the most influential woman in the Jewish state for the second year in a row, citing the importance of her role as Justice Minister “in every major intersection in Israeli discourse.”

Shaked was also named Israel's most influential person back in September by 'The Marker', a widely- respected business daily.