'Ministers could undergo polygraph'

PM also demands absence of cell phones in cabinet room to combat leaks.

August 22, 2007 11:59
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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned cabinet ministers against leaking security information discussed during cabinet meetings to unauthorized individuals, Army Radio reported on Wednesday. Olmert told ministers that he would not hesitate to demand that they undergo a polygraph test in order to determine the identity of the guilty party. Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra and Immigrant Absorption Minister Ya'acov Edri voiced support for the prime minister's decision Tuesday to prohibit ministers from entering cabinet meetings with their cellular phones. Furthermore, the ministers will be required to leave their cellular phones with security personnel at the boardroom's entrance. The new regulation will come into effect on Sunday. In July, former chief of General Staff and cabinet minister Lt.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, who heads the committee charged with implementing the Winograd Committee's interim report on the Second Lebanon War, recommended that those involved in classified security discussions undergo polygraph tests if information is leaked. This measure, said Shahak, should be taken only if an initial suggestion to keep spokesmen and advisers out of sensitive security cabinet discussions fails. One of the Winograd Committee's key findings was a need to plug leaks. HERB KEINON contributed to this report.

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