Photo Credit: Marc Israel Sellem/POOL
Liat Ben-Ari at the Jerusalem District Court for a hearing in PM Netanyahu's case, July 19, 2020.

Attorney Liat Ben-Ari, the prosecutor in PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s trial, and her husband, were summoned Wednesday to the police for a criminal interrogation by the municipal prosecution in the Rosh HaAyin municipality, on suspicion of a construction violation that was allegedly committed in a house owned by Ben-Ari’s husband in partnership with her (Justice System Closing Ranks to Rebuff Criminal Allegations Against Netanyahu’s Prosecutor).

The construction in question allegedly involved split the home into two apartment, in an effort to increase rent revenue, according to the report of a construction inspector working for the Rosh HaAyin municipality who visited the site.

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The inspector, Ziv Miller, reported: “When I went back to the municipality to check if these things were done according to a permit, I discovered that there was no permit for these actions.”

The filing of Miller’s report caused a great stir due to the fact that Ben-Ari is a representative of the State Attorney’s Office and is the prosecutor in the Prime Minister’s court case.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued a scathing letter to the Rosh HaAyin municipality several weeks ago, criticizing the municipality’s conduct. Mandelblit requested that the mayor and elected officials not be involved in the municipal prosecution’s considerations when it comes to attorney Liat Ben-Ari, as in any other case. Last Thursday, Bat Or Kahanovitz, a senior employee of the Office of the Attorney General, sent an urgent letter to Rosh HaAyin Mayor Shalom Ben Moshe and to the chairman of the Planning and Construction Subcommittee, Yishai Edward, warning them not to interfere in Ben Ari’s construction violations case.

Ben-Ari’s case will be handled directly by the Rosh HaAyin municipality’s legal counsel, attorney Fruma Porat, together with the prosecutor in charge of planning and construction in Rosh HaAyin, attorney Efrat Hadar.

Ben-Ari issued a statement on Wednesday, saying: “The property in question was purchased by a purchasing group in which attorney Ben Ari’s husband invested. It is not a shared residence of the couple and their family. The matter of splitting the property, the construction of which was completed about six months ago, should be regulated by means of the relevant legal temporary provision (Amendment 117 to the Construction Planning Law). In order to clear any doubt: Ms. Ben-Ari has no involvement in the investments and business of her husband, who is a private citizen.”

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