The Australian Prisoner
The Australian PrisonerScreen Shot

MK Miri Regev (Likud / Yisrael Beytenu) called Wednesday for criminal charges to be filed against three Knesset Members who exposed the Prisoner X affair in the Knesset plenum, thus using their parliamentary immunity to circumvent a gag order imposed by the Chief Military Censor.

Regev asked the Attorney General and the Knesset Officer to immediately launch an investigation against MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash), Ahmad Tibi (Raam Taal) and Zehava Galon (Meretz) and remove their immunity.

"MKs cannot be above the law," Regev wrote in her Facebook account. She added that she asked the Attorney General to find out how the Prisoner X affair was leaked to the MKs. "I also asked him to check why the MKs violated the gag order."

"This is not a matter of stifling speech," she added, "but an attempt to preserve state security in an era of advanced communications and technology."

"When MKs speak in the Knesset, that gives the media legitimacy to discuss subjects that are under a gag order," said Regev, who was Head of the IDF Spokesperson's Unit and Chief Military Censor herself.

MK Galon fired back immediately. "I would like to suggest to MK Regev that before she starts shouting, she should learn a thing or two about the role of MKs and the reason for the existence of parliamentary immunity.

"We as MKs are here to look out for the public's interest – not to stand between it and the authorities and hide information from it – certainly not when this information is already being spread throughout the world."

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) also attacked MKs Tibi, Gal-On and Khenin for using the Knesset podium Tuesday to bring up the case of the mysterious death of an Australian citizen secretly held in an Israeli prison

"Extreme Left-wing Knesset members took advantage last night of an opportunity to harm the security of Israel. The media's coverage of the matter, which is justified by the principle of freedom of information, undermines the ability of the country to protect itself," Yogev said.

"While there is room for criticism one must realize that there are certain issues that most Israeli citizens do not want to know about and they place their trust in the security system. Sensitive security issues should be discussed by the Sub-Committee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the value of the lives of Israeli citizens comes before freedom of information," he added.