'Georgian Case' against former police chief candidate Hirsch to be closed

Police fail to establish a proper case to prosecute Hirsch.

By AVISHAI GRINZAIG/MAARIV
July 5, 2019 11:37
1 minute read.
GAL HIRSCH, chairman of both the Israel Leadership Institute and Magen Party

GAL HIRSCH, chairman of both the Israel Leadership Institute and Magen Party. (photo credit: EIRAD NETZER)

The "Georgian Case," in which Brig. Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch was suspected of committing bribery offenses with government officials in Georgia, will likely be closed after the police failed to establish a case against him.

Lahav unit 433 has completed its investigation against Hirsch, and is currently working on arranging the material that was collected before transferring it to the State Attorney's Office, which will decide if he should stand trial.

A source in the investigation team said that the police failed to establish a proper case to prosecute Hirsch. The source estimates that the State Prosecutor's Office will close the main case, in which Hirsch was suspected of bribing Georgian government officials to win security tenders there.

According to the source, although the police have signed a state witness agreement, the suspicions have not been substantiated, and at most he may be brought to trial for tax offenses.

In August 2015, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced that he intended to appoint Hirsch as the police commissioner, replacing Chief of Staff Yohanan Danino, despite harsh criticism of former senior police officers. Yet then-Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered Erdan to suspend the appointment due to the suspicions over Hirsch's conduct. In the end, due to the investigation continuing, Erdan was forced to remove Hirsch's candidacy and appointed Roni Alsheich instead.

The police questioned Hirsch in two different criminal cases. The first dealt with a tender for the evacuation of landmines in Rishon Letzion. Three years later, in October 2018, the State Prosecutor's Office announced that the case would be closed for lack of evidence and that Hirsch's actions were not problematic. However, the investigation of the "Georgian Case" is still continuing. The police blamed Hirsch, who said he refused to give over information, and mentioned the complexity of the case, which required legal investigations in foreign countries.


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