Israeli online daily Haaretz reported that Israel's Prime Minister,
Ehud Olmert, decided on Wednesday to appoint Israel's Foreign Minister,
Tzipi Livni, as justice minister; Livni will continue her position as
Foreign Minister. The decision comes as the former justice minister,
Haim Ramon, is facing sexual assault charges.
In a phone conversation, Livni told Olmert that she decided to take on the portfolio, which she held for a year and a half before elections last March, Haaretz added.
Livni stated that she agreed to hand the portfolio back to Ramon if he is acquitted from the charges against him, yet it is not clear whether she will remain in this position if Ramon was found guilty.
Haaretz also said that the Israeli cabinet, holding a meeting in a Knesset conference room had been expected to approve the new appointment, and the vote will go to the Knesset plenum on Wednesday.
Israel's Attorney General Menachem Mazuz sent several verbal and written messages to Olmert warning him that there is a “black hole” resulting from his failure to appoint a new justice minister before the temporary appointment of Meir Sheetrit as justice minister last Thursday.
Meanwhile, officials at Olmert's office said that should Ramon be acquitted and returns to his post, the appointment of Livni will be temporary, for a period of one month.
Recently, Mazuz ordered an opinion barring the appointment of another acting Justice Minister, or the automatic transfer of the minister's authority to Olmert.