Prison jail generic.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
A day after the Public Security Ministry announced a lastminute cancellation of
Lt.- Cmdr. Eli Gavizon’s appointment to head the Prisons Service, authorities
explained the reason for the move.
Media reports on Sunday speculated
that Gavizon’s appointment was being nixed due to anonymous letters sent to the
Public Security Ministry alleging improper intimate relations with women who
were subordinate to him.
However, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, who
examined the issue, announced on Monday that he had found no evidence to
substantiate the charge.
Still, Weinstein added, “significant questions
remained” over allegations that “criminal elements” had asked Gavizon’s
relatives and associates to turn to him with requests to improve the conditions
of prisoners behind bars. Gavizon was unable to provide coherent replies to the
suspicions, Weinstein said.
During a subsequent check of the allegations
– carried out jointly by the attorney-general, the Public Security Ministry and
the Turkel Commission, which is tasked with scrutinizing senior public
appointments – Gavizon at first denied receiving requests from relatives and
associates that pertained to prisoners’ conditions, and denied handling such
“Despite that, during questioning...Gavizon said that
he did handle such requests... but claimed he had done so in line with Prisons
He also could not recall any specific cases,”
A subsequent letter from Gavizon’s attorney, sent last
week to Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, sought to argue that the
requests had been handled in accordance with regulations.
explanations to simple questions – did you receive requests regarding terms of
custody from relatives or associates, and did you take action based on these
requests – point to an apparent factual contradiction by the candidate for this
question,” Weinstein concluded.
Gavizon’s candidacy was further weakened
when he failed a lie-detector test on two questions: Had he dealt with prisoners
in contradiction to regulations, and had he received benefits in exchange for
changing prisoners’ conditions? On Monday, Gavizon vowed to appeal the
cancellation to the High Court. “There is an attempt to create a very dangerous
precedent, in which decisions are made to cancel public appointments based on
anonymous tips,” Gavizon’s lawyer, Boaz Ben-Tzur told Army
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.