Bar-Lev returns to Israel to confront allegations

Israel Police attache to Washington denies suspicions of sexual harassment ahead of selection of next police inspector-general.

November 21, 2010 23:13
1 minute read.
Bar-Lev returns to Israel to confront allegations

Bar-Lev 224.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Cmdr. Uri Bar-Lev, the Israel Police attaché in Washington and a leading candidate to become the next police chief, landed in Israel on Sunday to face questioning by the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department following a complaint of sexual harassment by a Public Security Ministry employee.

Bar-Lev has denied all suspicions against him. His supporters say the allegations were timed to torpedo his chances of becoming the next police inspector-general.

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Bar-Lev to face sexual harassment probe

Bar-Lev refused to answer questions from reporters at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Channel 2 reported on Sunday that the Police Investigations Department (PID) would stage a confrontation between Bar-Lev and the woman who claims she was harassed by him. Both are to undergo lie-detector tests.

Channel 2 reported on Sunday night that initial analysis of the polygraph results confirmed that the woman was telling the truth. A PID source said he could neither confirm nor deny the report.

Additional senior police figures, including Deputy Insp.- Gen Ilan Franco and Insp.- Gen. David Cohen – both bitter rivals of Bar-Lev, are expected to be called in for questioning as well, and asked whether they had prior knowledge of the events described by the complainant.

Some in the police continue to view the investigation as part of a plot against the charismatic former Southern District head, whom Cohen tried to kick out of the police in 2008.

But sources close to the complainant denied she was part of a plot to influence the selection process.

Yediot Aharonot reported on Sunday that the woman said she did not wish to lodge a complaint, but was compelled to do so after the former director-general of the Public Security Ministry, Hagai Peleg, who is also the target of a sexual harassment complaint by the woman, tried to portray her as a “serial complainer” by bringing up her claims against Bar-Lev.

The situation has been further complicated by reports that the woman and Franco had intimate relations in the past.

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