Attorneys for former Jerusalem police chief issue complaint over alleged leaks to the press on sex crimes case

Complaint alleges that the leaks were carried out as payback for Shaham's refusal to sign a plea bargain.

October 16, 2013 21:15
2 minute read.
Nisso Shacham.

Nisso Shacham 390. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Lawyers for former Jerusalem police head Asst.-Ch. Nisso Shaham issued a complaint to the attorney-general on Wednesday against what they said has been a recent series of Justice Ministry leaks meant to smear their client.

The complaint alleges that the leaks were a sort of payback for Shaham’s refusal to sign a plea bargain in the sexual assault and harassment case, which involves allegations made against him by eight subordinate female officers.

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“On this matter [the Justice Ministry] crossed all lines – and furthermore this wasn’t a single leak that could be dismissed, it was a wave of directed and deliberate leaks,” attorney Boaz Ben-Tzur’s office said in the complaint.

The move came in response to a report in the Israeli media this week saying that Shaham’s attorneys at the time, Navit Negev and Iris Niv-Sabag, had told two Justice Ministry disciplinary hearings earlier this year that sexual relations between police brass and lowerranking women were commonplace and even normal in the Israel Police. They added that prosecuting Shaham would thus constitute selective enforcement.

Ben-Tzur said the leak had been made in part to bring ridicule on his client.

“This leak was especially severe,” Ben-Tzur’s office said. “It was a lie down to the core and constitutes an attempt to present my client’s legal defense in a ridiculous light.”

Negev told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the reports about her and Niv-Sabag’s testimony were not accurate. She would not elaborate.

Ben-Tzur said that this line of defense would not be used in court, and that Shaham’s attorneys would instead base their case solely on whether or not a crime took place.

He expanded on this by saying that not all instances of sexual relations lead criminal charges.

On Monday the Justice Ministry’s police investigatory committee indicted Shaham on charges of sexual assault, sexual harassment, fraud and breach of trust. Its case is based on allegations made by eight low-ranking female officers who accused the ex-chief of exploiting his position to carry out sexual relations – including acts that were carried out against their will – and that he also sexually harassed several of them.

These acts allegedly took place in Shaham’s car, police buildings, his home and his mother’s home, in addition to other locations.

They occurred while he was in a position of influence regarding the women’s promotions or other aspects of their police careers.

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