(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Police Cmdr. Uri Bar-Lev was questioned for more than six hours at the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department office in Netanya on Wednesday evening.
He also undertook a lie-detector test, as he addressed two complaints of sexual offenses – both of which he has denied.
The marathon interrogation began at 4 p.m. and lasted well beyond 10 p.m.
Bar-Lev has strongly denied claims by “Alef,” a Public Security Ministry employee who accused him of sexual harassment, and claims by “Mem,” a woman from the North who said he “raped” her while under the influence of drugs.
Some in the police have raised doubts over the credibility of the
complaints due to the fact that the alleged incidents took place two and
five years ago, respectively, yet both complaints surfaced
simultaneously in recent days, a few weeks before Public Security
Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch is set to name a new police chief.
Bar-Lev, currently the Israel Police attaché in Washington, was a front
running candidate in the race. He has two major rivals in police brass,
one of whom had reportedly enjoyed intimate relations with Alef in the
But Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said on Tuesday that any
attempt to link the complaints with the race for police chief was
unfounded, and slammed the media for publishing what he described as a
Meanwhile, Channel 1 reported that an attorney representing former
Public Security Ministry director-general, Hagai Peleg, who recently
stepped down after being accused by Alef of sexually harassing her, is
planning to take legal action against her over allegedly subverting the
course of the investigation against Peleg.
The move comes after reports appeared on Wednesday citing conversations
between Alef and her associates, in which the woman discussed her
complaints against Peleg and Bar-Lev, and vowed to launch a nationwide
public campaign against sexual offenses. Alef also reportedly said she
would soon go public and discuss her complaints at a conference.
In the case of Mem, Bar-Lev flatly denied any sexual coercion took place, adding that the sexual encounter was consensual.
Reports said a third woman, known as “Shin,” was also present during
part of the encounter at a Herzliya hotel five years ago, supported Bar-
Lev’s version of events this week during questioning, and denied that
any rape had taken place.