Eran Shendar 298.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
State Attorney Eran Shendar offered an unexpected leg up to Asst.-Cmdr Yoram Levy as the former head of the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department testified before the Zeiler Commission Monday that he never received an envelope allegedly detailing Levy's ties to organized crime.
Shendar's testimony was yet another blow to the Gur camp - a group of witnesses centered around the personality of Asst.-Cmdr. Amir Gur who have tried to chip away at Levy's credibility.
During his testimony last week, Gur told the three-member commission that he had handed an envelope to Shendar that contained statements implicating Levy as aiding the Perinian brothers, a local crime family. According to Gur, the statements were made by cop-turned-killer-turned-almost state's witness- Tzahi Ben Or, as part of his failed negotiations to work out a plea bargain.
While Gur claimed that the statements were taken down by two police officers, Dep.-Cmdr. Gadi Siso and Ch.-Supt. Shimon Avioz, Avioz later denied ever hearing Ben-Or implicate Levy.
On Wednesday, Shendar added that in his meeting with Gur, he was never given an envelope containing any such statements. He added that he and Gur had discussed disciplinary - not criminal - offenses by Levy, and that they had also discussed the fact that Ben-Or had said that "a senior officer" in the Lachish Subdistrict was aiding the Perinians.
But, without the missing envelope that allegedly contained incriminating statements indicating that the officer was Levy, there was no reason for Shendar to believe that Levy was the same "senior officer," he said.
Shendar also emphasized throughout his testimony that the initial allegations against Levy - that he was violating police protocol in meeting with the Perinian brothers without documenting the meetings - constituted disciplinary but not criminal offenses.
The seasoned attorney repeatedly referred to the grey zone of relations between police officers who utilize "sources" to get inside information on criminal activities and the sources themselves.
Shendar said that Levy had clearly violated a prohibition against police officers being seen with known criminals, but also reiterated that many police officers in the field of intelligence frequently violate disciplinary standards in order to gain information.