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August 18, 1995 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-08-18

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Aharon Barak Named
Supreme Court Justice

Jerusalem (JTA) — Supreme oped during his tenure as attor-
Court Justice Aharon Barak has ney general from 1975 to 1978.
been appointed the high court's
It was during this period that
Judge Barak decided to press
Judge Barak, 59, a former at- charges against Leah Rabin,
torney general, will now have the then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Ra-
guiding hand over the high court, bin's wife, after it was revealed
and over the Israeli legal system that she had a bank account in
in general.
the United States, in violation of
The president, also known as Israeli law.
the chief justice, of the 14-mem-
The incident played a large
ber court determines the compo- part in Yitzhak Rabin's decision
sition of panels that hear legal not to run for the premiership in
cases and sits on the committee 1977.
that appoints and promotes
Since his appointment to the
Supreme Court in 1978, Judge
Judge Barak succeeds outgo- Barak has been noted for his lib-
ing Chief Justice Meir Shamgar, eralism and judicial activism.
who retired at the mandatory age
In 1986, Judge Barak was the
of 70 after serving 12 years in the dissenting voice when the high c,
court upheld the presidential par- -\
Justice Shlomo Levine was ap- don of two Shin Bet agents in-
pointed deputy president of the volved in covering up the murder
court, the position Judge Barak of two captured terrorists.
held for the past two years.
His liberal stances have often
Born in Lithuania, Judge led to confrontations with Israel's
Barak immigrated to Israel with Orthodox establishment.
his parents in 1947.
Judge Barak was part of a ju-
He completed his law degree dicial panel that ruled that Is-
at the Hebrew University in 1958 rael's national airline, El Al, must
and later continued his studies grant the same benefits to the r/
at Harvard University.
partner of a homosexual em-
Judge Barak was named dean ployee as a that of a heterosexu-
of the law faculty at the Hebrew al one. He also sat on a panel
University in 1974. A year later, that overruled a government ban
he received the prestigious Israel on importing non-kosher meat,
Prize for law. terming it a violation of an im-
He served as legal adviser dur- porter's right to earn a living.
ing the negotiations at Camp
Judge Barak also joined with
David leading up to the signing a recent ruling that Reform and
of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian Conservative Jews should be al-
peace treaty.
lowed to sit on local governmen-
Judge Barak's reputation as a tal boards that oversee religious
scrupulous public figure devel- affairs.

Man Refuses Comments
In War Crimes Case

Buenos Aires (JTA) — Former aminnocent." -
Nazi SS Capt. Erich Priebke has
Despite his protestations of in-
refused to talk to an Italian pros- nocence, Mr. Priebke has in the
ecutor seeking to question him past admitted to taking part in
here in connection with a war- what has been described as the
crimes case Italy is launching worst war crime to have taken
against him. place on Italian soil.
Mr. Priebke, 82, dismissed the
Mr. Priebke was a captain in
questionnaire presented to him the Nazi SS and the wartime
by the Italian prosecutor as deputy to Herbert Kappler, the
"childish" and bemoaned his in- Gestapo chief during the Nazi oc-
abilty to bring forward witness- cupation of Rome.
es to defend his wartime past.
After a partisan bomb attack
Mr. Priebke said in an inter- in Rome on March 23, 1944,
view with the Argentine official killed 33 SS stormtroopers, Mr.
news agency TELA1VI that he felt Kappler ordered 10 Italian civil-
like "the last of the Mohicans." ians to be executed for every dead
"There are no witnesses to de- German. There was an immedi-
fend me," he said.
ate mass roundup and the
"Back then you did not ask hostages were massacred in the
questions; you obeyed orders," he Ardeatine Caves at the southern
added. "For instance, I didn't outskirts of Rome.
know about Jews being shot. I
A total of 335 people were

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