Zeiler testimony comes to a close

Commission's conclusions likely to be damaging to Israel Police as a whole.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
October 30, 2006 23:53

 
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After a number of witnesses declined to appear in the final days of testimony, the second round of hearings of the Zeiler Commission concluded Monday morning with the testimony of Ch.-Supt. Ruby Gilboa. Gilboa, a bit player in the tangled web of accusations and counter-accusations, defended himself against charges that he and Asst.-Cmdr. Yoram Levy had inappropriate relationships with the Perinian crime family. After almost 12 months of on-and-off testimony, the commission, headed by former District Court judge Vardi Zeiler, will review the thousands of pages of testimony and documentary evidence before issuing their recommendations. While the focus of the testimony frequently centered on Levy's guilt or innocence, the mandate of the commission was to examine systemic failures within the police surrounding the murders of Negev gangster Pinhas Buhbout and cop-turned-assassin Tzahi Ben-Or. Whether or not testimony convinced the three-member panel that Levy broke laws as well as regulations in using Perinian family members as sources, the commission's conclusions are likely to be damaging to the Israel Police as a whole. The year of testimony has created public deep rifts among senior officers and highlighted systemic failures to properly document key meetings, investigations and conversations.

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