Senior cops accused of negligence in informer deaths

Senior police figures, including Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen, are facing damning allegations of negligence and have been accused of responsibility for the 2006 deaths of two criminals who had become police informers, Channel 2 News reported Monday. Asst.-Cmdr. Yisrael Abarbanel, formally a senior officer in the Intelligence Branch, left the police two weeks ago, and sent a letter to Public Security Minister Avi Dichter in which he accused senior officers of "irresponsible conduct which led to the incidents." The murders took place in the central region while Cohen headed the police's Central District. Two criminals turned police agents - Eyal Salhov, of the Ruhan crime organization, and a second agent from the Jarushi crime family, whose name is still being withheld, were murdered in 2006. No suspects have been arrested for the slayings to date. "I stand behind every letter and word [in my letter] and all attempts to sweep this under the carpet have succeeded until now... but the truth will come out," Abarbanel wrote. State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is examining the letter and could order an investigation, Channel 2 added. The Israel Police said in response that Abarbanel's "baseless accusations are distorted... and are highly bizarre. It was the former central district commander, now the police commissioner,who ordered an examination of this episode."