Cop ‘mistakenly’ closed case on own accident

Cmdr. Hagai Dotan signed off on an order to close a traffic case in which he was personally involved; calls it an innocent mistake.

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May 31, 2011 02:37
1 minute read.
[illustrative photo]

Police car in Tel Aviv at night 311. (photo credit: Yoni Cohen)

 
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A police commander who signed off on an order to close a traffic case in which he was personally involved said on Monday he made an innocent mistake by adding his name to the form.

Cmdr. Hagai Dotan, formerly head of the Judea and Samaria police, now head of the newly formed Coastal police district encompassing greater Haifa, was driving in 2008 in the North when he was hit by a car which failed to adhere to a stop sign.

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A series of traffic police investigators concluded that Dotan was not at fault in the accident, but it was Dotan himself who provided the final signature ordering the closure of the case, according to a form first brought to light by Ma’ariv on Sunday.

Some sources have hinted in the media that Dotan was set up by a rival in the police who leaked the form to Ma’ariv three years after the case was closed. The Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department said it was studying the case.

“I made a mistake by signing that form,” Dotan told Army Radio on Monday. “I was hit by a driver who forgot to look left [before turning onto the road]. I spun around and took a hit. The air bags opened and there was smoke in the car. I wasn’t hurt. The driver apologized for hitting me,” Dotan said during the radio interview.

The commander also said he did not follow up on the case and was not aware that the driver was indicted for a driving offense.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Israel Police said Dotan was struck by a driver “who admitted not adhering to a road sign and who was convicted of that offense in a traffic court. Dotan signed the form as part of a procedural process, which had no influence whatsoever on the legal process regarding the driver, following an investigation by the professional bodies.”

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