MK Demands Appointment of Knesset Ethics Committee

YERUSHALAYIM -
Likud MK Oren Hazan at the center of a furor over ethics.  (Flash90)
Likud MK Oren Hazan at the center of a furor over ethics. (Flash90)

Amid accusations of unethical conduct on the part of a Likud MK, the opposition is insisting that the Knesset can no longer carry on without an Ethics Committee.

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) allegedly engaged in criminal activities while managing a casino in Burgas, Bulgaria, before he entered the Knesset as a freshman member this year. Hazan denies the charges.

Zionist Camp faction chairwoman Merav Michaeli sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), demanding that he appoint members to the committee immediately, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

“These serious accusations stain the entire Knesset and should be investigated immediately,” she wrote.

On Thursday, the good government group Ometz asked Edelstein to remove Hazan from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, in view of his refusal to take a polygraph test.

It’s been over two months since the 20th Knesset opened for business, but it doesn’t have an Ethics Committee yet.

The Knesset Speaker is empowered to appoint members of the Ethics Committee, and a source close to him pointed out that the panel is generally formed last of all Knesset committees, adding that Edelstein is working on it.

Michaeli acknowledged that Edelstein suspended Hazan from his position as deputy Knesset speaker, but said that that was not sufficient.

However, it is unclear whether the Ethics Committee could do anything more to Hazan, since he was not in the Knesset when the alleged wrongdoing occurred.