Haim Ramon is still not satisfied.
Even after a report was issued earlier
this week by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, accusing four senior
officials in the police and State Attorney’s Office of “substantial negligence”
and recommending that disciplinary measures be considered against them, the
former cabinet minister and MK wants more.
In the past few days, Ramon
has made it clear that even now, after the wiretapping affair pertaining
trial on sexual misconduct charges has been examined twice by
investigators, both of whom found no signs of criminal conduct, he wants
these senior officials behind bars, or at least facing criminal
The wiretapping affair has to do with the failure of the police
and state prosecution to hand over transcripts of wiretapped
Ramon and his attorney, Dan Scheinemann. The transcripts, it emerged,
of the investigative evidence gathered by police. By law, the State
Office should have handed them over.
The state agreed that it had fouled
up and that the material should have been included with the rest of the
evidence. However, it maintained that the mistake was not deliberate and
malice was intended. It was a matter of human error and no more.
Scheinemann, who heard about the wiretapped conversations from an
source, had to ask the prosecution four times about the missing
state, when it realized its mistake, handed it over immediately. State
Moshe Lador stressed that it took less than 48 hours to correct the
also said, as the presiding judge had determined before him, that the
had no effect on the case itself.
Both retired judge Shalom Brenner and
Lindenstrauss agreed with Lador that the withholding of the material was
They also agreed that the oversight was more serious than the
police and the State Attorney’s Office made it out to be.
But Ramon would
have none of it. On Wednesday, he wrote to Attorney-General Yehuda
calling on him to appoint “a senior lawyer, outside the prosecution, an
on criminal matters, to take your place in investigating the matter.”
had already explained the day before that he was prohibited from
affair in accordance with a conflict of interest agreement he had signed
his appointment to public office.
IN ASKING for an outside investigation,
Ramon explained that an internal one would be biased in favor of the
“The entire top echelon of the state prosecution is involved in a
conflict of interests. Any involvement in the affair necessarily means
involved with those mentioned in the State Comptroller’s opinion, and
particularly the two prosecutors [Ruth David and Ariella Segal-Antler],
everyone in the state prosecution knows personally.”
Ramon’s request put
Weinstein on the public hot spot for the first time since being
attorney-general in January.
One of the most striking factors of his
tenure so far is that he has remained almost entirely outside the public
Weinstein has made virtually no public pronouncements (except for an
almost mandatory speech at the Israel Bar conference in Eilat.) His
most of the public controversies surrounding the objectivity, fairness
professionalism of the law enforcement agencies, including the state
which he heads, is known only to his closest associates, if at all.
his decision regarding Ramon’s request potentially stood to clarify
position on these matters.
Had he, for example, bowed to Ramon’s demand,
he might have been indicating that he was sympathetic to those, like
justice minister Daniel Friedmann, Ramon, Foreign Minister Avigdor
former president Moshe Katsav and former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who
maintain that the law enforcement agencies are biased and deliberately
elected representatives who are not to their liking.
But he did not do
so. By rejecting Ramon’s request, Weinstein gave a clear vote of
the established law enforcement system.
This decision was not to be taken
The police and the state prosecution are involved in an
escalating battle with their critics, who, today, as noted above,
of the most powerful, or formerly powerful, people in the country.
Lador and former Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz unequivocally regard
critics as seeking to damage the rule of law for their own personal
Weinstein stepped into this particular fray as an outsider
without a lifetime’s investment in the law enforcement establishment.
could have behaved like Friedmann and tried to undermine the existing
institutions, including the state prosecution and the Supreme Court,
the system. In this case, at least, he chose to defend the system
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