Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit spoke this evening (Thursday) at a conference on "Ethics of Public Elected Representatives," on the two-year anniversary of the death of former Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar, at Tel Aviv University.
Mandelblit first referred to a bill put forward by Minister Gideon Sa'ar according to which a criminal suspect would not be able to serve as prime minister. "In recent days, the Minister of Justice has submitted a proposal to amend the Basic Law, according to which anyone against whom a serious indictment is pending will not be able to form a government. According to the bill, the amendment is not personal but general, and looks to the future. This, while imposing restrictions and appropriate control and audit mechanisms, taking into account other important regime principles that apply in a democratic state."
"I believe that the proposed amendment to the Basic Law does not create anything out of the ordinary, in the sense that it follows in the footsteps of legislation and Supreme Court rulings in general, and the ruling of President Shamgar in particular, which deals with eligibility for public office," Mandelblit added.
"The command of President Shamgar - both in his rulings and in his academic writing, is that we must do everything in our power to defend the fair exercise of governmental power. To strengthen the principle of public service. The proposed law seeks to walk in this way and adjust the legal situation in a manner applicable to the eligibility of other elected officials, also in relation to the eligibility to serve as Prime Minister. It must ensure that statehood overrides any personal interest," he concluded.
Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar said at the event, "We are at an important crossroads, where the possibility of setting fundamental norms that were previously taken for granted must be set. On the basis of experience, I am convinced that avoiding it could lead Israel in the near or distant future to very dangerous places, which could shatter the foundations of our state and regime."
"Therefore, I am not frightened by the savage attacks and I intend to continue to fulfill my role in favor of the state, as I see it," Saar said.