Two senior public officials, Police Chief Yohanan Danino and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, came out in support of State Prosecutor Moshe Lador Wednesday, after harsh criticism was leveled against him for prosecuting former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who was acquitted of two of three corruption charges against him Tuesday.
Danino called Lador an impressive and “devoted lawyer” and said that criticism of the state prosecutor would only serve to undermine his office. Danino called Tuesday’s verdict a testament to the country’s strong legal system. “I’m sure the prosecution will study this verdict and keep leading the fight against public corruption without bias.” The police chief spoke at a lawyers’ conference in the southern city of Eilat.
Weinstein, in a letter addressed to prosecutors, described the assault on Lador as “unbridled personal attacks” against someone who is just doing his job. He added that such attacks undermine the state prosecutor’s office “without whose principles there would be no rule of law.”
“Such personal attacks pose a danger to prosecutorial independence… and that cannot be allowed to happen,” the attorney general said.
Weinstein did not comment on the particulars of the ruling, but did say the case was settled fairly and in a manner that is legally sound. He said, however, “We are not blind to the dangers of the uninhibited and personal rebuke of attorneys who carry out their duties with integrity and professionalism.”
Weinstein was hinting at the slew of public leaders, who, after Olmert was exonerated, criticized Lador and called for his resignation.
One such official, MK Yoel Hasson, a member of Olmert’s former party, Kadima, asked the state comptroller to look into the manner in which the case against the former prime minister was handled. Also, Olmert’s friend, publicist and author Amnon Dankner, called on Lador to consider killing himself, saying the state prosecutor had “caused a prime minister to resign” and “shamefully changed the lives of millions of Israelis” by doing so.
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