Lindenstrauss agrees to head Ramon probe

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss will head the team of investigators who will look into the use of wiretapping by the police. On Sunday, the government asked Lindenstrauss to investigate the matter instead of appointing a government committee of examination as requested by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann. The team will also include Boaz Aner, who is in charge of monitoring the work of the police and the state prosecution for the State Comptroller's Office, Hanna Yizraelovich and Rami Haimowitz. Work will begin in two weeks, Lindenstrauss said. Labor chairman Ehud Barak took credit for the defeat of his arch-rival, Vice Premier Haim Ramon, noting that the proposal that passed was the one that he had presented at the cabinet meeting and given to Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann two weeks ago. "The downfall of those who threatened the rule of law is a sign to the entire public that in Israel the law is in charge," Barak said. Barak told the Labor faction that Friedmann's proposal would have put improper pressure on the investigators in the state prosecution and the police. "We sent a message that Israel is governed by the rule of law and by common sense," Barak said. "Whenever there are politicians in Israel [like Ramon] who don't understand what goes without saying in the rest of the world, Labor will be there." Likud faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar said the marathon debate in the cabinet on the issue on Sunday proved that Israel had a "caricature of a government." "At a time when the country is facing serious challenges to its security, complicated diplomatic problems, economic problems and the cancellation of train routes to the South, the government did not deal with any of those issues," opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu said. "Instead, it wasted a full day on [Ramon's] maneuvers to survive politically and take revenge against his investigators. At a time when the prime minister and so many of his senior ministers have been investigated, the proposal that was presented was unreasonable, senseless and completely improper. It should have never been raised but instead the government wasted a full day on it, proving once again that they have lost the public's faith [and] any ethical mandate to continue to rule."