Police ask AG to green light probe of Gila Gamliel after corona violation

The police on Tuesday requested formal approval to interrogate Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel for allegedly violating multiple coronavirus-related laws.Only Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has the authority to allow a probe of a minister to go forward, and on Monday night a Justice Ministry spokesman said they had not yet received such a request.Although Gamliel had already admitted on Monday to violating limitations on movement during the lockdown and for a person, like her, who tested positive for the virus, the more severe allegations relate to whether she actively misled the Health Ministry in order to further violate quarantine restrictions.The difference in violations is some violations carry only a fine as a penalty whereas others could carry several years in jail for lying to the Health Ministry and active promotion of the virus.Gamliel found herself in hot water after violating coronavirus lockdown restrictions by traveling some 150 km. from her Tel Aviv home to Tiberias for Yom Kippur, before testing positive for the virus. She prayed at a synagogue in the city run by her father-in-law, where some 20 people were diagnosed with the virus in recent days.The minister reportedly earlier attempted to hide the violation from the Health Ministry during her epidemiological investigation, avoiding the ministry for hours and then saying that she caught the virus from her driver. But the investigation found that her family members had also contracted the virus and had not been in contact with her driver.Sources close to Gamliel stated that the minister had been residing in a home in Tiberias that she and her husband own, and that everything was done according to the Health Ministry guidelines. Ministry officials revealed to Haaretz reporter Haim Levinson, who initially broke the story, that Gamliel had hid that she was in Tiberias until it was revealed by the media. Before that, she told them that she genuinely thought she had caught the virus from her driver, who was earlier diagnosed with COVID-19.  Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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