Police extend suspension of top officer at center of sexual harassment complaint

Police say Alsheich and Ritman agreed to the extension in order to give Justice Ministry investigators more time to finish probing the allegations against Ritman.

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December 9, 2015 18:36
1 minute read.
Roni Alsheich

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officialy appoint Roni Alsheich as Israel's new police chief. (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

 
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Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich on Wednesday extended by four days the forced leave of Asst.-Ch. Roni Ritman, the Lahav 433 commander who is the subject of a sexual harassment investigation.

Police said Alsheich and Ritman agreed to the extension in order to give Justice Ministry investigators more time to finish probing the allegations against Ritman.

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Earlier Wednesday, former police commissioner Yohanan Danino gave a rare interview to Army Radio, in which he denied rumors and allegations in recent days of conflicts of interest involving him and the case.

On Tuesday Channel 2 published a report that the harassment complainant can be heard on tape speaking to Danino shortly before he appointed Ritman, saying that she was sexually harassed by the officer.

Danino denied rumors that he had any sort of inappropriate relationship with the complainant, or that he had appointed Ritman because of embarrassing information that Ritman had obtained against him.

“None of this ever happened,” Danino said. “I appointed Ritman because I have known him for many years and very much respect his capabilities.”

He added that he was not informed of anything about Ritman that would be enough to prevent his appointment.

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Danino has already been questioned by Justice Ministry investigators this week, and according to the ministry, aspects of his responses have supported the complainant’s version of events. Ritman himself was questioned for the second time on Tuesday, over the course of several hours.

On Tuesday, Alsheich suspended Dep.-Ch. Guy Nir, the police intelligence chief at the center of the sexual harassment allegation against Ritman, due to the suspicion of severe disciplinary issues.

Police said the Justice Ministry will investigate the matter and decide whether or not to prosecute Nir.

The allegations against Ritman were made by a single female subordinate who alleged that on three occasions he sexually harassed her, including one incident where he allegedly tried to kiss her against her will at a social function five years ago.

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