ATTY. GEN. REVEALS ARBEL'S RECOMMENDATION
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has revealed the draft prosecution filing prepared by then-State Prosecutor Edna Arbel (since appointed to the Supreme Court) against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his son Gilad, which charges Sharon with receiving bribes.
The revelation, along with that of Arbel's recommendation to prosecute, was made as part of Mr. Mazuz's response to several petitions filed with the High Court of Justice against his decision last week to close the case against Sharon and his son. By attaching Arbel's draft and recommendation to his response, Mazuz exhibited his confidence that the document confirms the reasonableness of his decision that the case presented lacks sufficient evidence to prosecute.
In her draft prosecution, Arbel wrote of Ariel Sharon: "Defendant number 1, a public servant, in his position as minister of infrastructure and minister of foreign affairs, received bribes in exchange for actions taken in the fulfillment of his duties."
Of Gilad Sharon, Arbel concludes: "In conjunction with defendant number 1, [he] received bribes."
Arbel further concluded that "Ariel Sharon received bribes in that he received from [David] Appel political support and large sums of money into the Sycamore Farm [Sharon's private farm] account, with the knowledge that such were proffered by Appel in exchange for [Sharon's] actions as minister of infrastructure... and as foreign minister..."
In her separate recommendation to prosecute, Arbel wrote: "Appel came to an agreement with Gilad that included, primarily, the payment of extravagant sums of money, in order to influence the actions of Ariel Sharon in his public positions for the benefit of [Appel's] real estate business...."
In his response to the High Court, Mazuz explained: "The evidence is found to be lacking in all of the components of the charges and does not even add up to a unified structure that can stand on its own. The evidence in the case does not bring us even close to a reasonable decision to prosecute."
While Mazuz presented the documents to demonstrate that the charges lacked sufficient evidence for prosecution, he also wrote that "this is not a certificate of integrity for any of those investigated. ...It must be remembered that without sufficient evidence, a criminal trial can not take the place of the judgement of the public."
Arutz-7 - 25 June 2004