Zeiler panel testimonies overshadowed by side accusations of corruption

September 19, 2006 01:33
2 minute read.

The second day of testimony in the latest stage of the Zeiler Commission began early Monday morning, but it quickly proved to be overshadowed by repercussions of Sunday's testimony, as Kadima MK Tzahi Hanegbi took to the airwaves to defend himself against claims that he appointed a police commissioner as a personal favor to a crime family. Hanegbi also called for the source of those claims, former police officer Cmdr. (ret.) Ya'acov Borovsky, now a senior adviser to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, to either prove his allegations or leave his current position. "Borovsky is a liar and is corrupt," said Hanegbi on Monday evening, calling for him to either publicly refute his claims or agree to testify before the Zeiler Commission as to their veracity. Hanegbi called on Lindenstrauss to remove Borovsky from his current role, as Lindenstrauss's senior adviser on political corruption, saying "this is a man who is in charge of rooting out corruption, but he has done the most corrupt thing possible" by making libelous accusations. This current firestorm, a sideshow to the Zeiler Commission's proceedings, began when police commissioner Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi opened his testimony Sunday by blasting what he termed as "malicious, crude gossip," citing a letter in which Cmdr. Meir Gilboa quoted Borovsky. The letter, which was submitted to the Zeiler Commission, claimed that campaign donations had brought about the appointment of Asst.-Cmdr. Yoram Levy to the sensitive position of commander of the Southern District's Central Investigative Unit (CIU). According to the scenario presented, the Perinian crime family served as "vote contractors" who enlisted voters to support the Likud Party, to which both Omri Sharon and Hanegbi belonged at the time. The same family, Borovsky alleged, contacted Karadi - at the time, Southern District police chief - through Sharon and Hanegbi, and requested that he appoint Levy to the position. Levy, according to allegations, had a history of trading information for bribes from the Perinians. In exchange for Levy's appointment, the allegation continues, Hanegbi - then minister of Internal Security - promised to promote Karadi to the Israel Police's top position. "There is not a person in the universe who can say that political considerations brought about the appointment of Yoram Levy," Karadi said during testimony Sunday, refuting all of the claims made in the letter. For his part, Hanegbi emphasized that he had never knew of the Perinian family's existence, that he had certainly never met them, and that he was not involved with "vote contractors" for the Likud. In Monday's testimony as well, Karadi's predecessor as police commissioner, Insp.-Gen. (ret.) Shlomo Aharonishky also refuted claims that Levy's appointment influenced police foot-dragging on a murder case in which the Perinians were the main suspects. Aharonishky said that the case languished unsolved for years due to "professional failures" and not because of what he termed "certain appointments."

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