Amir Ohana said prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari must step down after a news report revealed an illegal renovation on a house she owns with her husband.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana on Monday called for the lead prosecutor in the Netanyahu corruption trial to step down after a news report showed she had flaunted the law with an illegal home renovation, Channel 20 reported.
Over the weekend a news report alleged that veteran state prosecutor Liat Ben-Ari and her husband split their home in the city of Rosh Ha’Ayin into two units without a permit. An investigation revealed that Ben-Ari applied for a permit, but only after the fact when the construction had been completed.
The State Attorney’s Office issued a statement that the property was purchased by a real-estate group Ben-Ari’s husband invested in and that it is not the couple’s family residence. The statement said that “for the avoidance of doubt, Ms. Ben-Ari has no involvement in the investments and business of her husband, who is an ordinary private citizen.”
However, Ohana, who previously served as justice minister, said anybody who knowingly violated the law in such a way should resign.
Ben-Ari is the chief prosecutor the the corruption trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and was in court Sunday where judges set January, 2021 for the beginning of presentation of the evidence against the prime minister and three others charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust.
Asked by a Channel 20 reporter if it was appropriate for Ben-Ari to continue in her post after the alleged construction offenses had been revealed, Ohana replied that it would be unacceptable for her to continue in her position.
“It is an embarrassment and disgrace that those who preach all day long about clean hands and purity of the the rule of law, and invent cases that did not exist – are suddenly revealed in their depravity,” Ohana said. “I definitely think there is no place for her to continue there.”
Ohana is known as a fierce Netanyahu loyalist. Also a lawyer, Ohana has had a fractious relationship with Israel’s justice system, going over the attorney general’s head last year to select his own head state prosecutor.