Police intelligence chief suspended due to disciplinary issues

To make matters more complicated, the officer in question is at the center of a sexual harassment complaint.

By
December 8, 2015 17:25
1 minute read.
Israel Police

Israel Police logo. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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National Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich on Tuesday suspended the intelligence chief of the police investigations branch, after an internal inquiry found evidence of a series of severe disciplinary issues involving the officer.

The national police spokeswoman said the findings will be handed over to the Justice Ministry’s Police Internal Investigations Department for review, and that a decision on whether or not to terminate the officer, Guy Nir, will be made soon.

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To make matters more complicated, Nir is at the center of a sexual harassment complaint against Asst.-Chief Roni Ritman, the commander of the Lahav 433 branch, and has supported the testimony of the complainant in that case.

Police did not say if the alleged wrongdoing involved the filing of the complaint against Ritman.

On Tuesday, Ritman was questioned by Justice Ministry investigators for the second time in connection with the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by a female subordinate.

The questioning took place over the course of several hours, during which the commander was asked about new witness testimony that investigators have attained in recent days, including that of former Police commissioner Yochanan Danino, who supported some of the claims made by the female complainant, according to a Justice Ministry spokeswoman.

The case against Ritman deals with three separate allegations of sexual harassment – one physical and two verbal – that were said to have taken place on three different occasions.

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These include one instance in which he allegedly tried to kiss the female officer against her will at a social function.

Ritman was placed on leave when the investigation was made public last week.

A Justice Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday it was still too early in the investigation to say if criminal charges will be recommended against Ritman.

Ritman is the latest in a series of top police commanders named in sexual misconduct complaints, including a number of district commanders and the former deputy commissioner.

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