BAGATZ Resolves Chernoy’s Case
On November 10, BAGATZ (the Israeli High Court of Justice) approved a verdict that sealed the agreement between two parties (the Ministry of Interior and Mikhail Chernoy.) According to this agreement the latter’s request to have his passport returned for a period of one and a half year has been satisfied. Along with that, however, the state didn’t give up its right to pursue lawsuits against M.Ch.What does it mean?
1. It means that this BAGATZ has actually come to end. The case was not closed, because if in one year the passport is not restored to M.Ch., he can raise the issue again.
2. On the other hand, if the State decides to extend the period when he would be deprived of the Israeli citizenship, it will have to bring up the matter before the district court, according to a new law passed in the Knesset in July this year. The Interior Ministry doesn’t know yet how this law will act, moreover that it won’t be enforced immediately and it is not 100-percent sure whether this particular case will be a subject to this law, as the case was started before the laws was adopted. However it is 95 percent sure. Taking into account that ‘minister’ is a political post it would be better for him not to bind himself with a decision on the deprivation of citizenship but rather take the case to independent court instances, thus to shift all possible blames on someone else (something that so much scared Shitrit.)
3. In fact, this agreement allowed Shitrit to wash his hands of this case. In three months’ time he will be deposed of his powers and become a new head of the Interior Ministry.
4. For the prosecution this would mean a failure and the chances that after that BAGATZ rule the process of citizenship deprivation would be continued by a new minister are very slim. Certainly if everything goes on as it does and no one takes any other steps.
5. If the information that M.Ch. is leaving the country is right, there is no sense in depriving him of his citizenship. Probably the Interior Ministry and Chernoy’s lawyers agreed on it in September.
6. The verdict of BAGATZ doesn’t tell us anything new, because the IM took the decision as early as September 4. However, there are certain ‘lacunas’ here, which I cannot fill in ensuing from the factual point of view. There were two interim BAGATZ decisions, dated September 10 and October 15. They were not published. As for the second decision, it is known as a reminder BAGATZ sent to the IM within a month (counted as of September 10) to take a joint decision with the Chernoy’s lawyers, which has not been taken and a warning about due sanctions should the decision be not taken within a month. Exactly a month after this joint decision was taken. I do not know what the decision of September 10 was about. Evidently, the IM agreed to reach consensus with the claimant or BAGATZ obliged it to do so within a month.
2. Why, however, everyone started talking about giving the passport back to Chernoy on November 10 instead of September 4 or September 10?
There are two possible reasons.
1. The first one is that now there is an official verdict of BGATZ, to which the mass media refer in their reports. An interim decision or agreement with the IM is one thing, while a published verdict of the High Court of Justice, is quite another.
2. This decision is a victory over the IM – certainly not final but significant - not of Chernoy alone, but a serious legal breakthrough of Weinrot and his team of lawyers. Thus it would be logical to assume that if today they are steering the PR of this case then it was fed to the press exactly now.
3. PR of the decision
According to the results of my private monitoring, it was published in Hebrew in all leading newspapers: Haaretz, Calcalist, Maariv (internet), The Marker, Globes. The date of the publication in the net (November 10) on the day of the publication by BAGATZ in different editions:
16.06 pm, 16.48, 17.13, 17.30.
Which makes it an hour and a half. In other words, someone sent information for the press and enclosed the joint agreement with the IM and the BAGATZ verdict at about 4 pm and then checked it. The information and the headlines are practically identical. One of the editions adds that if now the IM would decide to pursue the lawsuit against Chernoy it will have to do it via court. The source of this interpretation is unknown – it might be the lawyers of M.Ch. or the paper itself. The first one is more probable.
The response of the IM has not come. As a Russian saying goes, “they shitted and wiped it.” Moreover that they had new information that Yohi Gnesin mentioned at the sitting of BAGATZ in May (Inbar commission.)
It could well be a political decision taken by the head of the IM in person, then they could hardly do anything at all.
The information in Russian came the next day.
Below are the references in Yandex to four different reports:
I don’t comment the wordings, one can read and compare. I would only say that in the Israely reports no one mentioned “the taken away passport” to say nothing of the fact that the IM set any conditions (as it was posted on the site of Gusinsky).) Giving the passport for one year the IM practically admitted that it does not mean that the charges M.Ch. pressed against them were right.
The conclusion: in the Russian-language press there was no special PR campaign, they reprinted and made additions all by themselves. Otherwise it would have been published on the same day with the Hebrew-language publications, without a reference to the Hebrew editions.
What should be done?
1. To elucidate the stand of the prosecution on this case. Why did the IM surrender its position and what are they going to do further on?
2. Whatever course the case would take from now on, Zvi Inbar should finally take the decision he has been considering as of January 2006. If he took it we have to find out what it is and does it have anything to do with the decision of the IM to issue a temporary passport valid for one year?
3. We should give a green light to the detectives to go on with their work! No one, lawyers including, didn’t understand why Marina disavowed it at this particular moment, although their engagement was on a privileged level, via Leshem. Previously she confirmed it in a talk with D., because OVD had once approved it.
4. My work with the letters sent to the IM and addressed to the Minister and Inbar pertaining to the case of M.Ch. should be continued. The same applies to the open addresses to the press! We have stopped it once because certain people immediately proposed to approach BAGATZ (a losing move), then because of the court, as someone decided that a privileged level would solve all problems. It transpired that within this time, especially as of May, everything went from bad to worse and now the IM and its head have no stimulus whatsoever to continue this case. It is redundant to say that the decision of BAGATZ will be published in English and in the British press (if it hasn’t been published already.) I haven’t monitored the English-language sites’ information about the BAGATZ rule. Ten lawyers were sitting and waiting while I settled matters with Chernoy and took the initiative in my hands here in London.
5. A PR campaign should, as before, accompany these addresses to the IM. Otherwise they will have no influence on either the outgoing or the future minister. Now, during the time of elections, the censure of Shitrit may produce effect. And we do know how to do it. If we have to do anything, we must do it urgently, while his parties are running in the primaries. Let him exonerate himself and give explanations in the press. This probably would strengthen the position of the prosecution. I have nothing to do with them, so neither the prosecution nor those who work with Shitrit’s party may lay any claims to me.
6. The same things apply to lobbying, especially during the elections. Moreover that both I and D. will work for different parties at the elections. All this is absolutely legitimate and lawful, moreover that presently there is no reason to be afraid of one more civil claim, it has already been filed.
7. We have to make a flying start while PR campaign of M.Ch with BAGATZ is still fresh in the journalists’ memory and while Weinrot didn’t give answers to our queries on the case (Rallie extended the deadline till end-December.) During this time M.Ch cannot say that I am “under his jurisdiction” and for this reason make statements in the press and write letters to the IM and intimidate BAGATZ, otherwise he will immediately fall in a trap because from May to December he failed to formulate his charges against me before the court.
Why should we do it now, wouldn’t it be better to sit back and push through our humanitarian project waiting that things will take their natural course and settle down or lawyers do something themselves?
That won’t be better.
1. In this case M.Ch. will get back his passport in a year, launch a PR campaign trumpeting his victory and certainly use it in London. Without pressure over the IM, both public and legal, things will take precisely this course. This is the objective state of affairs.
2. If the lawyers could really do anything then why matters still stand the way they do? Their psychology dictates not to spoil anything and protract the process as does pay well.
3. We are not losing anything. If worst comes to worst they will return the passport (see part 1.) If things turn to the better, litigation will continue in court. The future head of the IM will know that this is a problematic case, far from being simple in the eyes of public opinion.
I am asking for your reply. If it is decided that everything is alright and my recommendations and analyses are irrelevant, let me know!