Zeiler to debate access to testimony

Lawyers for commission investigatees want access to confidential information.

Zeiler 298.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Zeiler 298.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Zeiler Commission was set to meet Monday together with lawyers representing the 12 officials who received warning letters, to discuss the attorneys' access to confidential testimony and background information compiled since the panel began operating in December. The investigative commission, led by retired district court judge Vardi Zeiler, has been tasked with probing allegations of police mishandling surrounding the 1999 killing of underworld criminal Pinhas Buhbout and the murder of police officer-turned-gangland-assassin Tzahi Ben-Or in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2004.
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During the commission's last session, attorneys representing several top-level law enforcement representatives, including Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi, Jerusalem District Cmdr. Ilan Franco and Southern District Attorney Iska Leibovitch, asked the panel for access to all of the secret testimony and background information. Dozens of witnesses have appeared before the committee, in both open-and closed-door sessions. Those closed-door testimonies, together with the testimony of "Mister X," a secret witness later revealed to be Dep.-Cmdr. Efraim Erlich, will be at the core of Monday's debate. During the last committee session, a proposal was made to divide the information into three categories: conventionally confidential information that had been given with the understanding that it would not be made public; information regarding ongoing criminal investigations; and information that was confidential because disclosure would reveal personal details. The commission also heard a proposal that any information deemed to be confidential for security reasons should be reviewed by an outside source, such as the IDF or the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Another proposal would divide the material into four categories: materials that could be made public; material not for publication that would be distributed the attorneys; materials that could be used and reviewed, but neither reproduced nor removed; and materials that could not be revealed to everyone.