New allegations, and doubts, surface in Bar-Lev probe

Former senior police officer to Post: State comptroller should check if Bar Lev's rivals are linked to complaints against him.

November 23, 2010 23:21
3 minute read.
New allegations, and doubts, surface in Bar-Lev probe

bar-lev looking at us 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )

The Police Investigations Department (PID) probe into complaints of sexual offenses against Police Cmdr. Uri Bar Lev continued to stir up a firestorm on Tuesday, after it emerged that one of the women who lodged a complaint against Police Cmdr. Uri Bar Lev alleging that she was "raped" five years ago also alleged that she had been drugged beforehand by a female acquaintance and "enticed" into a sexual encounter.

The acquaintance, known as "Shin," was questioned under caution at PID headquarters in Jerusalem on Tuesday, a Justice Ministry source confirmed, and according to various reports, challenged the woman's version of events, denying that any rape had taken place.

According to the reports, "Shin" and the woman were asked to engage one another directly by the PID. Shin reportedly said that the woman's claim of rape was completely fabricated, adding that the encounter between the woman and Bar-Lev was consensual.

"Shin" also reportedly accused the woman of making up the rape story to cover up the fact that the woman held sexual relations with Bar-Lev while married. The woman has since divorced, according to reports, but did not lodge a complaint against Bar-Lev until this week.

"We trust the PID to get to the truth," a source close to Bar-Lev told The Jerusalem Post. Bar-Lev will be called into the PID headquarters on Wednesday for a lie-detector test.

"We're not surprised that "Shin" refuted the woman's claims," the source added. "This was a one time, consensual sexual encounter."

Inside the interrogation room, the source said, Bar-Lev was focusing on refuting allegations of wrongdoing against him, and was staying away from casting doubt on the motivation of the two women who complained against him, or the timing of the complaints, which came just before Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch was due to announce the next police chief. Bar Lev was a contender in the race.

Meanwhile, a former senior police source told the Post that the State Comptroller should launch an investigation to see whether sources close to Bar Lev's rivals in the police were linked in anyway to the complaints against him.

"Suddenly, after two years, one woman launches a complaint," the source said, referring to "Alef," the Public Security Ministry employee who alleged that Bar Lev sexually harassed her. "And after five years, a second woman complains. This is borderline," he added.

Referring to allegations by Alef that Bar-Lev phoned her repeatedly after the alleged incident of harassment, the source said, "She said he called her 14 times and she claimed this was obsessive. I think he called to apologize for a misunderstanding and she didn't answer. I've known him for years. He is a completely normative man. All of the lines have been crossed here. This is improper."

Speaking at an Eilat journalism conference on Tuesday, Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen dismissed out of hand suggestions that the complaints were linked to the race for the post of police chief. "You as the media are doing an injustice to the police and are harming the good names of people. In certain cases... some of you are motivated by a personal agenda," Cohen said, adding that facts were being twisted and wrong information was being publicized.

"The attempt to tie this episode to the race for police chief is wrong. The choosing of a police chief is sensitive, and its implications are national. This is a significant procedure in the life of a nation and the force, and it must not be linked to any particular incident," he added.

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