'Israel’s FBI' names new chief months after scandal drove old commander from post

The decision to appoint Commander Roni Ritman to head the unit was made by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich.

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August 16, 2014 17:18
1 minute read.
Roni Ritman

Commander Roni Ritman. (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

 
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Several months after the head of the unit was at the center of a scandal that rocked the Israel Police, a new commander has been appointed to head LAHAV 433, the special investigations unit often called "Israel's FBI."

The decision to appoint Commander Roni Ritman to head the unit was made by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich last week, six months after former LAHAV 433 head Menashe Arbiv resigned weeks after news broke that he was suspected of taking bribes from Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yossef Pinto in exchange for passing on information about investigations against the rabbi and his charity.

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National Police Commission Insp.-General Yochanan Danino, who recommended Ritman for the role, said the appointment of Ritman "was done with great care because of the importance, centrality, and uniqueness of the position."

Ritman, 50, is a married father of two and lives in Tzur Yigal in central Israel.

From 2006-2007 he served as the commander of the special investigations unit of the central district, and then was head of the YAHBAL international crimes unit from 2007-2010, and later head of the police intelligence branch from 2010-2013.

Following the scandal involving Arbiv, Commander Moshe “Chico” Edri of the National Traffic Police was temporarily made the interim head of LAHAV 433, drawing some criticism in the press that a man without experience heading an intelligence or investigations experience had been put in charge of the most sensitive unit of the Israel Police.

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