ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Judge suspected in sex scandal with ex-Bar Association head named

Eti Craif identified as key player in case of Israel Bar Association head Efi Nave, who is suspected of seeking judicial promotions in exchange for sexual favors

Magistrate Eti Craif. (Israel Courts web site)
Magistrate Eti Craif. (Israel Courts web site)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared for publication the name of a judge linked to the criminal case of the former head of the Israel Bar Association, who is accused of advancing judicial appointments in exchange for sexual favors.

As head of the Bar Association, Efi Nave, who resigned after his arrest, was one of the nine members of the powerful Judicial Appointments Committee that decides on placement and promotions for judges in Israel’s three-tiered judicial system. The position gave him huge influence in helping jurists advance in their careers — a role police suspect he exploited for sex.

The court said the name of Eti Craif, a judge at Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court, could be released for publication because police were no longer insisting on keeping it under wraps. The injunction seeking the name be released was sought by the Haaretz daily newspaper.

The court did not permit the release of the name of another suspect, a female lawyer, because it said she was a private citizen. Hebrew-language media has reported that her spouse is a judge.

The court said its decision to publicize or keep names from public view bore no relation to the strength of the evidence against either suspect, but was intended to make the judicial process as transparent as possible.

Nave was arrested in January and was questioned by police investigators for allegedly nominating a female judge to a magistrate’s court several years ago, reportedly in exchange for sexual favors.

Last week, police summoned other members of the committee to testify in the affair. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, former Supreme Court president Miriam Naor and Labor Court Judge Micha Spitzer testified to Lahav 433 investigators of the anti-corruption unit about the process of appointing judges during their tenure.

Nave was indicted a month before his arrest on suspicion that he smuggled a female acquaintance out the country for a trip abroad and then tried to slip her back unregistered through border control.

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