A-G likely to indict former head of 'Israeli FBI' for breach of trust

A statement from Weinstein's office said that Arbiv was suspected of having had inappropriately close relations with Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto from 2010-203.

January 28, 2016 19:39
1 minute read.

Gavel [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INIMAGE)

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday night announced that the prosecution will likely file an indictment against former Lahav 443 police unit commander Menashe Arbiv, subject to a special pre-indictment hearing.

Arbiv is suspected of having had inappropriately close relations with Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto from 2010 to 2013, including after the well-known rabbi was under investigation for bribery, a statement from Weinstein’s office said.

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Further, Arbiv frequently asked personal favors of Pinto, and when Pinto offered him a $60,000 bribe, while Arbiv refused, he failed to properly report the event to those investigating the rabbi, the statement said.

Pinto later made a plea bargain with the state to turn state’s witness against Arbiv, leading to a one-year jail sentence that will start in mid-February.

However, Pinto’s sentence could have been much longer if he had not provided the state key information against Arbiv.

Arbiv resigned from his post at the Lahav 443 anti-corruption unit, sometimes referred to as the “Israeli FBI,” on February 9, 2014, over the scandal, though he continues to proclaim his innocence and that Pinto is corrupt and manipulating the state.

Weinstein’s decision was likely one of his last as attorney- general with his six-year term due to end on February 1.

That means that the arbiter of Arbiv’s fate will be Weinstein’s successor-in-waiting, Avichai Mandelblit, current cabinet secretary and former head of the IDF’s legal division.

In February 2014, Arbiv sent a letter to Weinstein rejecting the accusations as not only false, but impossible.

The letter referenced allegations that have surfaced against Arbiv by Pinto and his followers, including that Pinto’s follower Ben-Zion Suki paid for Arbiv to stay in a hotel in New York between June 9 and June 14, 2009.

Arbiv’s letter, drafted by his lawyer, Gidon Fischer, provided what appeared to be a copy of Arbiv’s schedule during those days, indicating that he was meeting with then-president Shimon Peres in Washington and giving a speech to the Anti-Defamation League – also in the US capital – during those days.

None of the above or related allegations reported in the media in 2014 were mentioned in Weinstein’s announcement.

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