(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The man known as Israel's anti-corruption watchdog was questioned by police Wednesday under suspicion that while he was a senior officer in the Israel Police, he tried to trade influence in exchange for support by the Sharon family.
Yaakov Borovsky, who was questioned under warning for six hours Wednesday at the offices of the Israel Police's Economic Crimes Unit, told the Post Wednesday that the allegations against him are part of a conspiracy to prevent him from working on key corruption-related cases.
"The charges against me are nonsense and gross lies," Borovsky said, alleging that "a number of senior figures in the government and the media...invented [criminal allegations] in order to distance me from taking part in delicate investigations." Borovsky has ruffled many feathers in his probes of various political officials, as well as invoking the wrath of Police Chief Insp.-Gen Moshe Karadi when Borovsky was quoted in a letter to the Zeiler Commission claiming that campaign donations to the Likud Party - channeled through Omri Sharon - had bought about Karadi's appointment.
Borovsky, currently the head of the Department for the Struggle Against Corruption in the State Comptroller's Office, was formerly the head of the police's Northern Command and a candidate to become the next Chief of Police. The allegations, leveled against him by Likud Central Committee member Solomon Karubi, concern that period immediately before Karadi's appointment.
Two months ago, Karubi, a former confidant of Omri Sharon, claimed that Borovsky contacted him to try to bribe Sharon into interceding with his father, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to support Borovsky's candidacy for the post of police inspector general. After Karubi came forward, Omri Sharon confirmed Karubi's account of the events.
Since then, Karoubi's complaint has been investigated by the National Fraud Squad with a team commanded by Dep.-Cmd. Eran Kamin and also including investigators from the Justice Department's Police Investigative Department (PID). Shortly after the complaint was publicized, Karubi was questioned for three hours at the NFS offices.
Police are also investigating counter-allegations by Borovsky that Karubi lied when he claimed that Borovsky had tried to use him as a go-between. Although protesting his innocence, and claiming that police had no justification for questioning him under warning, Borovsky has lived up to his promise that if he were questioned by the police, he would take a leave of absence from the State Comptroller's Office. "I took a voluntary three-week leave of absence, which, by the time it is over, all of this business should be cleared up," he explained.
During his questioning, Borovsky presented investigators with the results of a lie-detector test that he had voluntarily taken. He also complained to police against some figures, including at least one Channel 1 reporter, who he believes was part of the conspiracy to implicate him in criminal misdeeds. Borovsky also said Wednesday that investigators did not present him with any previously unknown evidence during the question, and, in fact, that some of the allegations that were aired on Channel 1 were not actually part of Karubi's complaint.
Despite his personal problems with the police head, Borovsky said that he does not believe that the police organization is part of the conspiracy against him, asserting that they have become an unwitting tool of his enemies.
After the scandal broke, Police Chief Insp-.Gen Moshe Karadi said that due to "special circumstances" surrounding the "sensitive" investigation, he had decided not to receive periodic updates as to the progress of the investigation or any details concerning the investigation until the police complete the probe.