Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said Monday that the state will not appeal a ruling that paves the way for former Justice Minister Chaim Ramon to return to the Knesset following his conviction for sexual assault.
Ramon was convicted of forcing a female soldier to kiss him on the day the Second Lebanon War broke out. He was found guilty and sentenced to 120 hours of community service.
The court ruled, however, that Ramon's crime was not one entailing "moral turpitude" - a classification that would prevent him from returning to his post as Justice Minister.
Mazuz Did Opposite With Feiglin
The Land of Israel Legal Forum, which had protested the decision to rule Ramon’s crime free of moral turpitude, responded to the decision, saying, "There is no sex crime devoid of moral turpitude…This decision deals a heavy blow to the public's faith in the legal system.”
In 2005, AG Mazuz opted to appeal a similar ruling by the head of the elections committee – which removed the “moral turpitude” classification from Likud candidate Moshe Feiglin’s record, allowing him to run for party chairman. Feiglin had been convicted of sedition and incitment to rebellion for his leading of the Zo Artzeinu ('This is Our Land') civil disobedience protests around the signing of the Oslo Accords and arming of the Palestinian Authority security forces.
Mazuz submitted a 117-clause document to the Supreme Court, seeking to reverse the election committee’s decision, despite the fact that the “moral turpitude” classification was due to expire three months later in any event.
Clemency Request From MK Blumenthal
Former MK Naomi Blumental (Likud) filed an official request for clemency with acting President Dalia Itzik Tuesday.
MK Blumental was convicted of bribery and obstruction of justice for renting out hotel rooms for Likud Central Committee members on the evening of party primaries. She was sentenced to an eight-month prison term set to begin this month.
With the return of MK Chaim Ramon, convicted of indecent acts, to the Knesset, a growing number of MKs have called for Blumental to be granted clemency, especially in light of the fact that her husband died two weeks ago.
Knesset Strengthens Defense
The Knesset passed a law allowing courts to withdraw unjustly handed down indictments in preliminary proceedings Tuesday.
The law, which passed unanimously, is said to strengthen the defense in criminal law cases. It was supported by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann and submitted by Likud MKs Gideon Sa’ar and Moshe Kahlon.
It allows defense lawyers to file for a preliminary hearing to have an indictment revoked in cases where a defendant was abused, selectively prosecuted or lied to by the prosecution or law enforcement officials.
The Israel Police and Shabak (General Security Service) opposed the law.