Editor’s Note: For more than a week Zoltar has been hounding me to buy NO on Bibi Indict markets and been promising me a blog entry about why this unpopular take would win out. This past week, PredictIt rule in his favor. Two days later, this finally arrived.
Its been awhile since the Rules Cuck Panther has made her way back to the PredictIt markets to feast on the misguided opinions of the dolts that populate much of this community. Although that foul beast did slaughter me in the last round (U.S. Census Market), my minions have alerted me to her presence in this market and, I am now ready to let you ride on my coat tails as I restore my honor and claim my vengeance.
Besides my compulsive gambling addiction, I have much love for PredictIt because of the many ways it surprises. On this market, I was surprised to see how easy it was to solve the rules cuck debate and even more surprised at how low the price of the correct answer (NO indictment) was. I was also shocked to see the disparity between the effort many of you rubes clearly went through trying to figure out the answer to this market’s riddle, compared to the incoherent slop that resulted from your efforts.
But now I have played with this market enough and am ready, like the generous and giving aliens in 2001: A Space Odyssey who planted the monolith on the moon as a way of jumpstarting the evolution of Earth’s primates so that the savages inhabiting this planet could progress and enjoy the benefits afforded by the use of basic tools and weaponry —
In that same vein, I am proud to foster the development of you dumb-dumbs so that you can progress to a level where you may place wagers based on coherent thoughts.
In this vein, please allow me to first give you a quick tutorial on the definitions and distinctions between the words “indict” and “indictment” which has been the sticking point for many of you…
“Indictment” generally refers to a legal document, containing specific allegations of criminal conduct, that is filed in courts in order to initiate a criminal trial against the person named therein. However, in common parlance, the word “indictment” is often (mis)used to both to refer to the legal act of “indicting” someone (i.e. charging with a crime) and the legal document (i.e. indictment) used to do so. For example, if a I were to say, “the indictment of O.J. Simpson initiated a shift in the public’s perception of his kind and giving nature,” my use of the word “indictment” would refer both to the initial of criminal charges against OJ and the document (i.e. indictment) used to do so. Conversely, if I were to say that “OJ Simpson has been indicted,” my used of the word “indicted” would indicate solely to the legal act of initiating criminal charges against OJ.
Next, let us take a moment to see what insights we can glean from the grey box recently issued in this market by the PredictIt Gods. Of particular note, the grey box confirms that the PI gods are consulting an attorney or legal scholar versed in Israeli law in order to make their decision on this market’s resolution. What this means is that the resolution of this market will depend upon the opinion of a legal scholar/lawyer based on what they ascertain by looking at the vast amounts of sources providing information. More importantly, many of you are unaware of the fact that, in the realm of lawyers and legal scholars, there is a specific hierarchy of value (i.e. legal precedent) from which all sources of information are evaluated. This pyramid of sources is shown in the hierarchy below.
EDITOR’S NOTE: ZOLTAR IS A LUNATIC AND DID NOT SEND ME THIS PYRAMID, SO PLZ IMAGINE
Attorney General (AG) Opinions
As the pyramid shows, Israeli laws are the holy grail of sources that will be relied up to support a final decision on the proper way to resolve this market. In other words, if you find an Israeli law that says “PMs are indicted at the moment the AG provides a copy of their indictment to the Knesset to perform an immunity evolution” that would be game over for the NO shareholders.
In the likely event you can’t find such a law, the next best source will be cases from Israeli courts which discuss and confirm the issues disputed in this market (newer cases beat older cases and Supreme Court cases beat district cases).
Following the use of citations to Israeli laws and cases, the next most persuasive authority would derived from opinions, letters, or statements from the Israeli Attorney General (newer opinions are better than older ones). For a list of the relevant statements and opinions given by Israel’s current Attorney General and staff, please see the corresponding section below.
The last real legitimate sources that should be cited in support of an argument over Netanyahu’s indictment status are the academic texts and/or scholarly writings (i.e. law reviews, legal journals, dissertations) that shed more light on the indictment status of an accused as he/she goes through the Israeli criminal procedure process. However, be warned, academic sources are much less valuable than laws or case precedent. As a result, academic sources should almost never be relied upon and cited as the sole authority supporting your conclusions regarding the status of Netanyahu’s indictment. Rather, academic sources should be generally used to “fill in the gaps” left by your reliance on the other types of sources listed above.
Unfortunately for the many of you who are now sporting a big fat boner from the article you found from a news source that uses indictment language that confirms your Yes or No shareholder position, articles from news sources provide almost no legal authority and will likely be disregard completely by the legal scholar or lawyer who will give the PI gods their resolution decision on this market.
Finally, a word of caution. The hierarchy of sources listed above is only as good the manner in which it is applied. Traps have been set throughout the PI message boards by users who, influenced by bias, ignorance, dishonesty or a combination thereof, offer citations to one or more of the legitimate sources listed above based on their misreading and/or misapplication of those sources to the facts involved in the Netanyahu debacle. Hands down, the best example of this can be found in any of the Domah posts littered throughout this market’s message boards. Please take a moment to read some of his daily posts to see great examples of how easy it can be to be deceived by what appears to be a valid argument based on a highly ranked source. Don’t be Domah, make sure your arguments and ultimate conclusions are based citations to valid sources that are accurately read and applied to the current Netanyahu indictment status dispute.
What Israeli law tells us about Netanyahu’s indictment
The first thing that I noticed when examining various Israeli laws (shown in table below), is that a person cannot be indicted unless his indictment is filed in court. Applied to this market, these laws would strongly suggest that the Netanyahu indictment that was given to the Knesset by the Attorney General should be considered, at best, an indictment that will occur subject to its eventual filing in court.
67. If a person is to be prosecuted, a prosecutor will file an indictment against him with the court.
|Basic Law: The Government (2001)
· (c) An indictment against the Prime Minister will be filed and presided over in the Jerusalem District Court, in a presidium of three judges; proceedings regarding an indictment filed before the Prime Minister begins his term of office shall be prescribed by law.
|85. An indictment will contain –
(1) The name of the court to which it is submitted;
(2) The designation of the State of Israel as the accuser or the name and address of the private complainant;
(3) The name and address of the defendant;
(4) A description of the facts constituting the offence, indicating the place and time in so far as they can be ascertained;
(5) An indication of the provisions of the statute under which the defendant is charged;
(6) The name of the witnesses for the prosecution.
The Israeli immunity laws (shown below) appear to be the most relevant laws for the stage of Netanyahu’s prosecution. They provide, in part, that the AG must “approve the indictment” against Netanyahu before submitting copies of it to (1) the court (2) the Knesset Member (Netanyahu) (3) Speaker of the Knesset,, and (4) the Speaker of the Knesset Committee.
The wording of the statute that requires the AG’s “approval of the filing of an indictment” of a person before submitting the indictment to the Knesset, is not the same thing as saying that the AG is required “to indict” a person before or while submitting copies of that person’s indictment to the Knesset. Moreover, when compared to the statements by the AG and his office which mirror this language, it seems very likely that the use of language requiring the AG to “approve the filing of an indictment language” instead of language simply stating the “AG must indict” is 100% intentional. If so, the most plausible explanation for the legislature’s failure to confirm the simple fact that the person named in the indictment given to the Knesset for immunity evolutions has been “indicted” is that the person named in the indictment submitted to the Knesset has not yet been indicted.
|(2) The Attorney General approves the filing of an indictment against the Knesset Member, before submitting it to the Court, to the Knesset Member, the Speaker of the Knesset and the Speaker of the Knesset Committee.
(3) The Knesset Member may, within 30 days from the date of the indictment, be requested that the Knesset determine that he has immunity from criminal law for the charge of the indictment, for one or more of the following
(Amendment 33) 2005 (C) If the Knesset determines that the Knesset member shall have immunity as provided in this section, the Attorney General shall not approve an indictment during the term of that Knesset against the Knesset for the same guilt unless the circumstances change.
· Immunity from a Criminal Complaint (Amendment No. 43), 2016
o 4 a. A criminal complaint will not be filed against the Knesset member for an offense committed while he was a Knesset member or before he became a Knesset Member.
o Knesset Immunity Law, Their Rights and Obligations, 1951
Also, application of the immunity laws shown above would make no sense if, as the Yes holders claim, Netanyahu is indicted when the AG provides a copy of his indictment to the Knesset. For example, if Netanyahu gets indicted when the AG gives a copy of his indictment to the Knesset, what would happen if the Knesset then concludes Netanyahu does not have immunity causing the AG to then file Netyahu indictment in court? Would Netanyahu be double indicted?
Even worse, if Netanyahu is indicted now and the Knesset immunity evaluation results in a decision confirming his immunity, that would mean that Netanyahu is simultaneously indicted and immune from indictment. It would also that it would be impossible for the AG to avoid violating Amendment 33 in scenarios where the AG attempts to indict a Knesset Member (such as Netanyahu) and the Knesset returns a decision that confirms the Knesset Member’s immunity. For example, under the immunity laws above, the AG seeking an indictment of Knesset Member must provide a copy of the Knesset Member’s indictment to the Knesset. If, as the Yes holders argue, the Knesset Member would be indicted at this stage, that would then mean that if, after receiving the Knesset Member’s indictment, the Knesset issues a decision confirming the immunity of the Knesset Member, the AG would have retroactively violated the portion of Amendment 33 that says, “if the Knesset determines that the Knesset Member shall have immunity….the AG shall not approve an indictment during the term of that Knesset against the Knesset.”
What Israeli caselaw tells us about Netanyahu’s indictment
I do not speak or read Hebrew. Therefore, my ability to access and analyze relevant caselaw is severely limited. However, the few cases I was able to get my hands on and read did provide valuable clarity to the issues involved in this market as explained in further detail below.
Many of these cases suggested that a person is indicted when the trial against him as begun or when all “possible screen processes short of a court” have taken place. If so, Netanyahu cannot currently be indicted.
· an indictment marks the beginning of a trial and is a constitutive fact even when it clearly cannot determine the outcome of the trial. The condition for filing an indictment is a sufficient evidentiary foundation that creates a reasonable possibility of conviction
· we are dealing with…an issue that was investigated by the police and produced an indictment by the State Attorney, after which a hearing was held – in other words, all the possible screening processes short of a court.
The cases below suggest that Netanyahu’s immunity evaluation must take place before his indictment.
· Bishara v. Attorney General 2006 – immunity lifted By Knesset to allow an indictment to be filed against him.
· Bishara v. Attorney, docket number: HCJ 11225/03- On 9 September 2001 the first respondent submitted to the Speaker of the Knesset an application to lift the petitioner’s immunity in order to indict him in a criminal trial.
· immunity evaluation took place despite the fact that an indictment was pending and PM was not indicted.
o Welfare Minister Haim Katz resigned from the government on Friday after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced earlier in the week that he plans to indict him on fraud and breach of trust charges
o The attorney general informed Katz he would have to resign over the pending indictment, a practice established in the 1990s with the court-upheld resignations of indicted cabinet members Aryeh Deri and Raphael Pinhasi.
· MK Oren Hazan 2017 case – Hazan waives immunity, to be charged with assault
o Controversial Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan is set to be indicted on assault charges dating back three years, after he waived his parliamentary immunity.
o Hazan will be charged in the coming days, according to Hebrew media reports, on suspicion of assaulting the mayor of Ariel in the West Bank in 2014, before he entered Knesset, in an apparent dispute over a debt.
o Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit informed Hazan in September of the impending indictment for assaulting a civil servant and a misdemeanor in a public space, and gave him 30 days to request parliamentary immunity.
o **credit to PharmaBroMadoff for discovering this gem.
AG statements indicate no indictment
The AG and his office have issued numerous opinions letters and statements directly related to Netanyahu’s indictment status. One thing that is immediately apparent upon reading these communications is that the AG goes out of his way to avoid saying that he has indicted Netanyahu. Instead, as shown below, he repeatedly refers to his “decision to indict” Netanyahu or the fact that he has “decided to indict” Netanyahu. Think about that, if the AG really has indicted Netanyahu at this point, as Yes holders believe, why on earth wouldn’t he just say “I have indicted Netanyahu today” or “Netanyahu is now indicted.” There is no question in my mind that the AG is intentionally avoiding saying that Netanyahu is indicted. By far the most plausible reason for the AG to do so, is if Netanyahu is not actually indicted.
Why No is going to win even if everything I just said is wrong
Finally, if you are still not convinced that No shares should be the big winner of this market, take a moment to read the rules again. Specifically the part that says the indictment and/or formal charges need to be “confirmed” by the “charging agency” or “judicial venue.” Israeli law requires indictments against PMs to be filed in the District Court of Jerusalem. As such, the “judicial venue” would be the District Court. Because the indictment has not yet been filed with the District Court, there is no way the District Court will make any statements on this, much less confirm that Netanyahu has already been charged or indicted.
That means that the only way Yes shareholders win this market is if the AG somehow confirms that Netanyahu has been indicted and/or formally charged. As we already discussed, the AG has had numerous opportunities to confirm Netanyahu’s indictment in letters, opinions, and press releases made specifically to address the status of the criminal prosecution against Netanyahu. However, each time, the AG has gone out of his way to confirm only that he has “decided to” indict Netanyahu.
Here are some of the hard to find links containing the full text of the various statements and documents produced by the AG on this matter.
If you are too dumb to understand that “deciding to” do X is not the same as “doing X,” you are beyond my capabilities to help. But the rest of you understand that the only way Yes shareholders win will be if the AG suddenly stops referring to his “decision to indict” Netanyahu and instead confirms that Netanyahu has been indicted. Moreover, because of the number of times he has already said ‘decided to indict” a single utterance of “Netanyahu is indicted” would likely be dismissed by the PI gods as a single misstatement. Therefore, at this point the AG would have to basically address this specific question and make it abundantly clear that technically Netanyahu is indicted and or confirm that he misspoke when he previous said that he had “decided to indict” instead of just that he “had indicted” Netanyahu.
Finally, taking a step back and think about this market through PI’s eyes….wouldn’t the AG’s failure to publicly state that Netanyahu has been indicted or formally charged provide PredictIt with the perfect out for otherwise having to make and explain a tough decision regarding the precise moment when Netanyahu was indicted?
At this point, ZOLTAR’s writing stopped. I am guessing it is because he got busy counting his money when PI ruled on his side.
Boom. Zoltar’s back.