Israeli judiciary rocked by ‘sex for judgeship’ scandal, top lawyer arrested even as Attorney General recuses himself from case

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Israel has been rocked by a massive sex scandal with the country’s most powerful lawyer being termed as the prime suspect in the case. Although there’s a gag order in Israel over reporting the details, the local media have named Israel Bar Association Chairman Efraim Nave – known to all as ‘Effi’ as the main suspect.

sex scandal
Efraim Nave with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Photo: Haaretz)

Nave was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly promoting judges in exchange for sexual favours. He was later sent to house arrest for eight days, reported Haaretz. Nave is accused of appointing two judges that included a female judge and a husband of a female lawyer.

Nave had become the head of Israel Bar Association, which represents as many as 59,000 lawyers, in 2015. Unlike India or other countries, the chairman oif the bar club in Israel sits on the nine-member panel that appoints the country’s top legal officials including judges.

A close friend of Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Nave is accused of appointing a female judge to a magistrate court and another judge to the district court. According to police, he obtained sexual favours from the female judge in exchange of her promotion. Nave is also alleged to have received sexual favlours from the lawyer wife of another judge against his promotion.

A report by Haaretz said that the judges’ wife, who is also a lawyer, is being probed for  using her personal connections with Nave to promote her husband’s candidacy. She has denied allegations made against her.

Iareli police elading the probe have decided to call every member of the Judicial Appointments Committee for questioning. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has recused himself from the case citing his friendship with Nave. Meanwhile, police have conducted multiple raids on the offices of the Israel Bar Association and Nave’s home as part of their investigation.

While the appointment of the female judge was successful, the male judge whose wife is under the scanner, could not get his promotion.

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