Bill banning police from recommending indictments to be softened — report
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Bill banning police from recommending indictments to be softened — report

Contentious legislation to curb cops' authority will reportedly change to allow recommendations to be made privately, but not publicly

Likud MK David Amsalem, chairman of the Interior Affairs Committee leads the Interior Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on July 11, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud MK David Amsalem, chairman of the Interior Affairs Committee leads the Interior Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on July 11, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A bill that would bar police from offering indictment recommendations to prosecutors will be softened in an apparent effort to shore up coalition support for the controversial legislation, Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) reported Wednesday night.

The bill, seen as a measure to curb police authority, is expected to undergo changes in order to garner the necessary support from the Jewish Home and Kulanu parties, the report said.

The compromise will likely see the bill changed to allow police to make recommendations to state prosecutors privately but not publicly. The re-worked bill will allow for the criminal prosecution of police officers who leak such information to the public. The offense would carry a one-year sentence.

The bill is seen as an effort by Likud lawmaker David Amsalem to limit the public fallout in corruption probes against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Last week, the bill proposed by Amsalem cleared its preliminary reading in the Knesset plenum with 52 lawmakers in favor, 42 opposed.

The contentious legislation faces opposition from police, the state attorney, and the attorney general. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) have reportedly expressed reservations about the bill and have conditioned its advancement on the approval of their respective ministries.

On Monday, the Knesset’s House Committee voted 9-7 to transfer the proposal to the purview of the Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environmental Affairs Committee, helmed by Amsalem.

The move was opposed by Jewish Home lawmakers, who sought to keep the bill in the Knesset’s Constitution, Justice and Law Committee, chaired by its own MK Nissan Slomiansky.

Although police don’t recommend outright whether to file indictments, they do provide prosecutors with a summary that notes whether there is sufficient evidence that a crime was committed. The proposed bill is widely understood as an attempt to prevent officers from influencing the prosecution’s decisions on indictments.

Marissa Newman contributed to this report.

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