Attorney-General Mandelblit to decide fate of police chief

Mandelblit spoke ahead of the meeting to Erdan and to Edri.

December 2, 2018 22:38
1 minute read.
Moshe (Chico) Edri

Moshe (Chico) Edri. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit convened his deputies and closest aides for a key meeting Sunday night to decide how to handle the appointment of the next chief of the Israel Police, Channel 10 reported.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wants to ask the government committee that approves appointments of high-ranking officials to reconsider its decision to not approve the candidacy of Moshe “Chico” Edri as the next chief of the Israel Police. But he was waiting to first hear how Mandelblit will handle the issue.

With Mandelblit’s approval, Erdan would ask the committee, headed by former Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Goldberg to let him appear and make the case for Edri. If the committee turns down his request, he would bring Edri’s candidacy to the cabinet, where there is a majority to approve it.

If the cabinet approves Edri despite the Goldberg Committee's recommendations against him, the Movement for Quality Government would challenge the decision in the Supreme Court. So Mandelblit is deciding in advance whether to defend the decision on the government’s behalf.

Mandelblit spoke ahead of the meeting to Erdan and to Edri.

Meanwhile, the cabinet voted Sunday to approve the appointment of Southern District Police Commander Moti Cohen as interim police chief for up to 45 days in place of current chief Roni Alsheich, whose term ends Monday night. The interim appointment can be extended.

Goldberg faced criticism Sunday when he said in a KAN radio interview that Edri had not passed a polygraph test when in fact he had. He later clarified that he meant Edri had not been asked a key question in the polygraph test.

When asked whether Edri was fit to be police chief, he responded “absolutely not.”

The Goldberg Committee disqualified Edri due to a meeting he held with an attorney representing one of the people who filed a complaint to the committee against his appointment. The meeting took place just days before Edri was scheduled to meet with the committee. It also cited a state comptroller’s report about Edri cancelling six speeding tickets of a border police commander.

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