Shin Bet finds leak of ‘important’ info not from PMO

"Netanyahu asked security agency to check how information got leaked, but did not specify PMO officials or call for use of lie-detector."

January 6, 2011 18:25
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

netanyahu stinkeye 311. (photo credit: Haim Tzach)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently asked the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to investigate how information characterized as “important for the security of the state” was leaked to the press, the Prime Minister’s Office announced in a statement on Thursday.

The statement, which did not disclose the subject of the leaked information or when it occurred, said the investigation had concluded that the Prime Minister’s Office was not the source of the information.

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Netanyahu did not say who should be questioned, or how.

There are a number of accounts of what was leaked, with one version saying that information from a securityrelated meeting held in the Prime Minister’s Office about three months ago was leaked, and another version saying it had to do with a telephone conversation Netanyahu had with a world leader.

Netanyahu was reportedly furious about the leak, and asked the Shin Bet to probe the matter out of concern that someone was listening in on conversations inside his bureau.

The Shin Bet began an investigation after consultation with Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.

Among those who were reportedly questioned and asked to take a polygraph test were National Security Adviser Uzi Arad, bureau chief Natan Eshel, cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser, senior aid Ron Dermer and spokesman Nir Hefetz.

The Shin Bet issued a statement saying that at the end of the investigation, it had been established that the source of the leak was not in the Prime Minister’s Office. The investigation’s conclusions, it said, had been given to the attorney-general.

The decision on how to carry out the investigation, and whom to question, was taken by the Shin Bet, not Netanyahu, the Prime Minister’s Office statement clarified.

The Prime Minister’s Office also unequivocally denied as “lies and fabrication” a report in a Kuwaiti newspaper that linked Hefetz’s resignation last week to the incident, and that also said Hauser would be leaving his position soon because of the leak.

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