Ramon’s wiretap probe request rejected

Weinstein aid: 'There is no need for external investigation."

July 2, 2010 04:08
2 minute read.
Ramon’s wiretap probe request rejected

tanned haim ramon 298. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday rejected former justice minister Haim Ramon’s request to appoint an outside investigator to determine whether police and state prosecution officials committed crimes in failing to hand over transcripts of wiretapped conversations.

The transcripts pertained to the affair in which Ramon was charged with forcibly kissing a female IDF officer.

“We do not believe that under the circumstances there is reason for a lawyer outside the State Attorney’s Office to take the place of the attorney-general regarding this matter,” wrote Weinstein’s senior aide, Raz Nazri.

On Monday, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss published the results of his investigation of the wiretap affair, recommending that the appropriate authorities decide whether further action should be taken against two police and two state prosecution officials whom he found responsible for the failure.

Immediately afterward, Weinstein announced that he could not make the decision because, as a private lawyer, before being appointed attorney-general, he had represented some of the personalities in the Ramon affair.

Ramon then wrote to Weinstein, asking him to appoint someone from outside the state prosecution to investigate the four officials and determine whether they had deliberately withheld the transcripts. He argued that had the defense been in possession of the material before the trial began, the outcome might well have been different.

At the time, the court convicted Ramon of committing an indecent act against the officer.

In explaining his request for an outside investigation, Ramon wrote, “The entire top echelon of the state prosecution is involved in clear-cut conflict of interests. Any involvement in the affair necessarily means being involved with those mentioned in the state comptroller’s opinion, and particularly the two prosecutors [Ruth David and Ariella Segal-Antler], whom everyone in the state prosecution knows personally.”

Weinstein did not reply to Ramon’s concern. He said there was no precedent for handing over the investigation to an outside source when the attorney-general could not handle it himself. In this particular case, Weinstein told Ramon, he would hand it over to the deputy attorney-general.

He also criticized Ramon for writing that his letter to Weinstein was classified as “personal” and “confidential,” and yet it was published in the media a few hours after it was sent. As a result, the attorney-general said he was also releasing his own letter to the media.

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