'Ex Shin Bet investigator not heading complaints unit'

State Attorney’s Office rejects report claiming new unit for investigating complaints against Shin Bet will be headed by former Shin Bet investigator.

March 5, 2013 02:38
1 minute read.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein [file]

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

The State Attorney’s Office on Monday vehemently rejected an Army Radio report claiming that the office’s new unit for investigating complaints against Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) interrogators will be headed by a former Shin Bet investigator.

After years of criticism for allegedly failing to investigate, or bring charges against, Shin Bet interrogators following complaints against them, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein – in consultation with the Shin Bet and other authorities – ordered responsibility for investigating agents transferred from the agency’s in-house unit to the State Attorney’s Office in order to better assure its independence.

According to the report, five candidates for the job made it to the final round, but all were disqualified, except for the recently retired head of the Shin Bet’s in-house investigations unit.

The report was viewed by many as highly problematic. If true, it would insinuate that the State Attorney’s Office and the Shin Bet were only making the investigations appear independent of the Shin Bet, while essentially just changing the job title of the person who had been in charge during the period under investigation.

The state’s response indicated that in fact the report’s facts were sloppy, in that eight candidates rather than five had made the final round, and that while one of them was a former head of the Shin Bet’s investigations unit, he had not been chosen, and a new round of candidates was being solicited.

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