The Israel Police responded on Tuesday to recent reports of a “severe scandal”
in the law-enforcement body, insisting that the information making the rounds in
the press was unsubstantiated.
“We advise reporters and others to avoid
artificially creating something that is nothing but air supported by the
scattering of hints about the leadership of the Israel Police,” it
It added that the reports were on the brink of violating gag orders
and that “the connection between them and reality is nonexistent.”
police were referring to reports in Haaretz
and elsewhere this week that “a
severe scandal is shaking the Israel Police.” According to the media, the case
threatens the national police’s top brass and will deal a serious blow to public
faith in the organization.
The police response came as local media
reported Tuesday that there were new developments in the bribery case against
influential Rabbi Yeshayahu Pinto.
The police stressed that the Pinto case or any other singular case could not compromise the reputation of an entire organization adding that the police's reputation could certainly not be shaken by the dramatic statements of some journalists.
Last year, Pinto was arrested along
with his wife after police allegedly recorded him giving a briefcase full of
cash to Brig.-Gen.
Ephraim Bracha, today the head of the police’s
National Fraud Investigative Unit.
Police said at the time that Pinto was
trying to bribe Bracha in order to gain information about an investigation into
a charity Pinto ran. However, Pinto denied that charge.
was a follower of the Ashdod- and New York-based rabbi in the past and,
according to people close to Pinto, had previously received economic assistance
from the rabbi.
Last week, Channel 10 and Haaretz
reported that the
attorney-general had decided to put a hold on the police investigation and the
issuing of an indictment against Pinto, after receiving new information about
Reports have circulated that the information was linked to an
FBI investigation in which Pinto is a witness, as well as his personal
connection to Bracha.
Police would not comment on the Pinto case on
Tuesday, saying that the case was not in their hands.
Ministry would not comment on the case, either, though one source from the
ministry did say that Bracha, whom a ministry probe previously cleared, was not
the subject of a Justice Ministry investigation.