Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch will name the next police chief as
soon as the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department into Cmdr. Uri
Bar- Lev’s sexual harassment case is complete, a source close to the minister
told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday evening.
RELATED:Bar-Lev accuser 'Aleph' revealed as Dr. Orly InnesCourt hearings canceled as government prosecutors strike
Last week, Aharonovitch said
he would not allow “feuds between police commanders” to disrupt the appointment
process, and has been in talks with Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein in order
to coordinate the next appointment. Some reports over the weekend claimed that
Aharonovitch has already decided on who would replace outgoing Police Insp.-Gen.
David Cohen, though the source refused to confirm such claims.
Bar-Lev’s supporters continue to maintain that the case is the result of a plot
by rivals to destroy his reputation and eliminate him from the race for police
Last week, a former senior police source told the Post
state comptroller should launch an investigation to see whether sources close to
Bar-Lev’s competitors in the police were linked to the charges against
“Suddenly, after two years, a woman launches a complaint,” the
source said, referring to Dr. Orly Innes, the Public Security Ministry employee
who alleged that Bar-Lev sexually harassed her.
“And after five years, a
second woman complains. This is borderline,” he added, referring to “Mem,” a
woman from the North who claimed she was drugged and raped by Bar-Lev in a
Bar-Lev, the Israel Police attaché in Washington, said
the encounter with Mem had been consensual, and denied harassing Innes. Cohen,
who tried to oust Bar-Lev from the police in 2008, has denied allegations that
the investigation is linked in any way to the race for police chief, and
attacked the media for publishing the allegation last week.
the Organization of State Prosecutors announced over the weekend that as long as
a strike which members launched earlier this month continues, the prosecutors in
the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department will not deal in any way with the
case of Bar-Lev.
According to the announcement, “the organization
instructed the PID prosecutors not to, in any way, handle the Bar-Lev case. That
means they will not prepare any approval or letter related to the investigation.
Thus, as long as the strike continues, it will not be possible to take decisions
and reach conclusions, and therefore it will not be possible to complete the
Meanwhile, the strike, now going into its third week, is
taking an ever-increasing toll on the government’s ability to fight for its
policies on a number of key issues currently before the High Court of
Despite the strike, the High Court has continued to hear
petitions and appeals even though the state has been absent from all these
hearings. Since the strike began, prosecutors have also refused to publish legal
documents including responses to petitions against the various branches of
On Thursday, the prosecutors published a list of important
legal hearings that the state will not attend and legal proceedings where it
will not present the state’s position.
The list includes the following
cases: On November 11, the state was due to present its response to a petition
filed by Channel 2’s Uvda investigative reporting program, which wants to air a
story on a special security unit. Uvda is petitioning against the state’s
decision to prevent the report from being aired for reasons of state
The High Court ordered the state to respond to a petition filed
by the Interdisciplinary Center – Herzliya by November 28. It will not do so if
the strike does not end by then. The prosecutors say if the petitioners win the
case, it could cause a significant change in the way allocations are made to
institutions of higher learning and thereby harm the universities.
the strike ends before November 28, the state will not reply to a petition
against a law passed by the Knesset to halt legal procedures and erase criminal
records involving most of the protesters who broke the law or are suspected of
breaking it during the protests against the disengagement from Gaza in
On December 1, the state is due to respond to a petition filed by
Israel’s national carrier, El Al, demanding that the state pick up the tab for
the airline’s security expenses.
On December 5, the state is supposed to
respond to a petition charging that the biannual budget, which the government is
due to pass by the end of the year, is illegal.
In a related development,
Israel Bar chairman Yori Geiron once again called on Justice Minister Yaakov
Neeman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz to actively intervene to resolve the
“Because of the strike, hearings are postponed, others are
held without the presence of the prosecutors, causing delays in justice and a
heavier burden on the courts,” wrote Geiron. “The influence of the strike will
be strongly felt even after it is over.”
Meanwhile, the public defender,
Inbal Rubinstein, wrote to Neeman and senior Justice Ministry officials,
demanding that whatever benefits are eventually granted to the prosecutors be
granted to the public defenders as well. She pointed out that although the
public defenders do not belong to the same work category as the prosecutors,
they have always been given the same working conditions.
that “the circumstances of the government prosecutors do justify any significant
difference in treatment which would favor them above other [lawyers in the
Therefore, any agreement involving wage conditions that
is granted to them should apply to the public defenders as well.”