Coalition whip pushes bill to grant mayors immunity from arrest

Likud MK Ofir Katz at a Knesset committee meeting on January 17, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Likud MK Ofir Katz at a Knesset committee meeting on January 17, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Coalition whip Ofir Katz of the ruling Likud party has submitted a bill that would grant mayors and municipal leaders immunity from arrest, similar to Knesset members.

According to a copy of the proposal cited by the Walla news site, Katz argues the legislation is needed to prevent “exhaustive [legal] processes” that can hurt municipal services and impact “public opinion.”

“An arrest that is carried out publicly can significantly harm an elected official. There have been cases in which elected officials in municipalities and regional councils, who are cleared of any guilt, paid a heavy electoral price following the mistaken perception built up in the voting public during the proceedings,” an explanatory text attached to the bill says.

Arrests could still be carried out in cases where a municipal chief was in the middle of committing a crime that involves the use of force, disturbs the peace or is treasonous.

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