ALMOST two years after Israeli police recommended that then-deputy health minister Yaakov Litzman be indicted for allegedly aiding accused child sexual abuser Malka Leifer avoid justice, the country’s Attorney-General is due to charge him within weeks.
Israeli media reports Litzman is set to be hit with charges of bearing false witness, fraud and breach of trust by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit after being accused of pressuring employees in his office to alter the conclusions of psychiatric evaluations that had deemed Leifer fit for extradition.
He is also accused of helping to prevent the closure of a food business that his own ministry had deemed unsanitary.
Litzman’s office reiterated his denial of wrongdoing, saying he always acted in the public interest, with “full transparency” and according to the law.
“The office maintains an open-door policy to assist the public without discrimination between groups or sectors or clarifying the situation of those turning for help,” it said in a statement.
It also expressed confidence Litzman would be cleared of the allegations.
In January, Litzman stepped down as chair of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party after 18 years at the helm. In December 2019, there was outrage after he was promoted as health minister despite police recommending his indictment.
Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler told The AJN, “We are confident that Israel’s justice system remains willing and able to hold to account anyone who has broken the law, regardless of their position. The apparent decision to indict Litzman is further proof of that.”