Comptroller knocks police over handling of informants

Lindenstrauss: Lack of trust between various quarters in police force need to be addressed, after 2 police informants were killed in 2006.

By
April 12, 2011 02:10
2 minute read.
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.

Micha Lindenstrauss 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

 
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State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss criticized the Israel Police on Monday over its handling of police informants and state’s witnesses.

Lindenstrauss said there “significant” faults in the way police units handle both informants and state’s witnesses, and that a lack of trust between various quarters in the force needed to be addressed immediately.

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Two complaints by former senior officers lay at the heart of the comptroller’s report.

The first complaint, filed by former senior intelligence officer Cmdr. Yisrael Abarbanel, concerns the killing of two police informants in 2006, and the second, filed by former deputy Israel Police attaché to the US, Cmdr. Simon Perry, involves the handling of state’s witnesses against the Abergil crime family.

In the first incident, two criminals turned police agents – Eyal Salhov, of the Ruhan crime organization, and a second agent from the Jarushi crime family in Ramle, were murdered in 2006. No suspects have been arrested for the slayings.

Abarbanel said that police mishandled the affair, leading to the agents’ exposure and murder.

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He also said the episode was then whitewashed.

The allegations have been dismissed by police, and Abarbanel has been accused by senior officers of pursuing a personal grievance.

The 2006 slayings occurred when now-outgoing police chief Insp.-Gen. David Cohen was central District chief, and now-incoming police chief Cmdr. Yochanan Danino was head of the Operations and Investigations Branch.

Lindenstrauss did not name either officer in his report on Monday.

Lindenstrauss was critical of the fact that police “investigated itself” over the episode, thereby causing him to halt his own inquiry.

“It’s not reasonable for the police to need almost two years to complete internal checks on these matters,” the State Comptroller’s Office said.

Not all of the details of Lindenstrauss’s inquiry can be published due to operational sensitivity.

The Israel Police said in response that it would “study the report and its findings.

“Police officers and their commanders will continue to lead the country with uncompromising determination to carry out the fight against serious and organized crime,” it said.

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