Police chief Cohen: I won't set up an inquiry commission

Follows indictment of five policemen and a civilian for allegedly targeting underworld Nahariya crime boss Michael Mor with explosives.

police and gun 224 (photo credit: Yaakov Katz [file])
police and gun 224
(photo credit: Yaakov Katz [file])
"I have no intention of setting up an inquiry commission, I am personally sick of commissions," Police Insp.- Gen. David Cohen said Thursday afternoon in the wake of the earlier announcement that a group of five policemen and a civilian had been indicted for targeting underworld Nahariya crime boss Michael Mor with explosives. Cohen condemned the behavior of the policemen but said that it was a localized problem only. Amid recent complaints from policemen in the North that they are being abandoned in the fight against the rampant violence of the criminal underworld, the Justice Department's Police Investigative Department (PID) exposed the troubling incident of what appears to be desperate cops taking the law into their own hands. According to assistant PID head Shlomo Lemberger, the incident long under investigation "crossed all the red lines of the role of law enforcement." In what Lemberger described as "one of the hardest and most complex investigation in the 15-year history of the PID," the department probed allegations that police officers used explosive devices against figures in the criminal underworld. The suspects were indicted in a Haifa court on charges surrounding allegations that they placed two explosive devices targeting figures in Nahariya's criminal underworld. The five policemen are all members of intelligence and/or investigative units in the Galilee sub-district. In a press conference Thursday morning, PID investigators said that they received initial information from police shortly after the two explosives were planted in late 2006, indicating that three policemen may have been involved. The explosives - described by investigators as two "complex" pipe bombs - were planted on October 22, 2006. One was planted underneath the car of Nahariya crime lord Michael Mor, and the second was planted the same evening on the windowsill of the home of Mor's nephew. The first bomb did not detonate - due to what the PID described as a technical error - but the second bomb did explode, causing damage to property but no casualties. The civilian, described by PID investigators as a pyrotechnics expert, allegedly instructed the policemen on how to build the explosive devices used and supplied them with bomb-making material unavailable on the open market. The civilian has already confessed to his involvement. In addition, one of the policemen implicated in the affair agreed to serve as a state witness and to testify against the other five. The suspects said that they had not meant to kill the targets, but rather were trying to intimidate them and possibly provoke them into taking revenge, whereupon the policemen could arrest them.