Representatives of the justice system are boycotting a Thursday Knesset committee hearing on Deputy Commissioner Roni Ritman’s connection to police inquiries of corruption cases against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The representatives were instructed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who informed Chairman of the Interior Committee, MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) of his order. Opposition party representatives also decided not to attend the hearing.
Kisch announced that “the failure of government officials to appear at the Knesset will have parliamentary consequences.”
Yesterday Kish announced the committee’s meeting to discuss Ritman’s conduct, seeing as, on the one hand, he claims that the prime minister was behind the complaint against him on sexual offenses, and on the other hand was picked to interrogated Netanyahu, in his role as head of the police investigations unit.
In response, Mandelblit sent a letter to the Knesset legal advisor, Eyal Yinon, calling on him to cancel the hearing because, according to the AG, Kisch’s aim might be to undermine the rule of law and sabotage police investigations of corruption allegations against Netanyahu. Kisch informed the AG that he intended to ignore his opinion.
Back in December 2015, then Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided not to conduct a criminal proceeding in the matter of Police Major General Roni Ritman. After examining the evidence gathered in the investigation against Ritman, Weinstein decided that the circumstances of the case as a whole, including the time lag between the alleged event and the complaint (5 years) did not justify a criminal proceeding.