police circle Jerusalem light rail_370.
(photo credit: Melanie Lidman)
On Monday, Jerusalem Police Zion precinct head Dep.-Ch. Nissim Edri began his disciplinary hearing for his failure to report Jerusalem Police chief Asst.- Ch. Nisso Shaham’s alleged sexual misconduct against policewomen.
Both Edri and Shaham were placed on forced leave on July 26, when the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department (PID) announced a months-long undercover investigation of Shaham. Shaham is suspected of sexual harassment and improper sexual relations with as many as five policewomen. Both Shaham and Edri have been on administrative leave since the end of July, when the case broke.
On Monday, Edri refused to speak with reporters as he entered the National Police Headquarters in Jerusalem. “We must let the disciplinary process take its course, I am optimistic, and he is also optimistic,” said Edri’s lawyer, Zion Amir, as he entered the building. Edri is expected to request to continue in his position as precinct head and deny all wrongdoing.
According to the Justice Ministry, which handled the initial investigation, Edri originally refused to cooperate with the investigation and denied he had any knowledge of the harassment complaints. Only toward the end of the investigation, when he was confronted by the same officer who informed him of the suspected harassment, did Edri admit that he had heard of the allegations but had not passed them on to the proper authorities, as required by law.
“The senior officer’s conduct, his failure to pass on the complaint that was reported to him for investigation, as is required and expected under the circumstances, as well as his conduct during the PID investigation, raises suspicions of a number instances of disciplinary misconduct,” said a source in the PID.
On August 2, the Justice Ministry transferred the case to the Jerusalem Police for an internal disciplinary hearing. The PID decided that Edri’s conduct did not warrant criminal charges.