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Israeli judge, prosecutor scandal leads to judicial inquiry

Judge Eliezer Rivlin, the ombudsman handling complaints against judges in Israel, found that a dialogue of text messages over several months between Ronit Poznansky-Katz and Israel Securities Authority attorney Eran Shacham-Shavit was “highly inappropriate.”

Israel’s Supreme Court. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Israel’s Supreme Court. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The president of Israel’s Supreme Court announced the establishment of an official inquiry into the relationship between judges and law-enforcement officials, following the collusion of a judge with a state prosecutor in a case involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The announcement was made after Tel Aviv Magistrate Court Judge Ronit Poznansky-Katz was found to have coordinated her remand rulings with a state prosecutor for suspects implicated in a corruption case involving Netanyahu and the Israeli telecom giant Bezeq.

Last week, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked initiated disciplinary proceedings against Poznansky-Katz, who will not face criminal proceedings at this time.

Judge Eliezer Rivlin, the ombudsman handling complaints against judges, found that a dialogue of text messages over several months between Poznansky-Katz and Israel Securities Authority attorney Eran Shacham-Shavit was “highly inappropriate.”

In the exchange, Shacham-Shavit told Poznansky-Katz that the Securities Authority would ask her to release some suspects while continuing to remand others.

“Try and act surprised,” he wrote.

“I’m practicing my surprised face,” she responded before apparently agreeing to the request.

The Bezeq corruption investigation, dubbed Case 4000, examines whether Bezeq owner Shaul Elovitch ordered his Walla news site to give favorable coverage to Netanyahu’s family in exchange for the prime minister, who was communications minister at the time, advancing regulations benefiting Bezeq.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing in these cases.

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