High Court to State: Dig deeper in Lieberman investigation

The Police Investigations Department must continue search for inside source who leaked classified information about FM.

Lieberman 311 AP (photo credit: AP)
Lieberman 311 AP
(photo credit: AP)
The Police Investigations Department will have to continue searching for the inside source who leaked classified investigation information about Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to a reporter, the High Court of Justice ordered the State Attorney’s Office on Wednesday. the order comes after the state told the court on Tuesday that the probe had reached a dead end.
“Upon reading the material and hearing the arguments of both sides, we believe that at this time, and in light of the importance in dealing with leaks and the harm leaks cause to investigations and their subjects, there is room for the attorney-general and the State Attorney’s Office to consider other investigation options,” wrote the judges.
State: Probe into Lieberman leak is at dead end
In Tuesday’s hearing, Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Ester Hayut and Uzi Fogelman raised questions about the state’s decision not to interrogate the officers who were directly exposed to the investigation details or ask them to submit to a lie detector test.
So far, the investigation has managed to narrow the number of likely suspects to 13 police officers who were directly involved in the case, but the state said it is possible that the leak emerged from someone who wasn’t directly involved and may not even have come from a police source as others, including officials in the State Attorney’s Office, were involved.
State representative Dana Briskman said the PID did not want to order all those on the investigating team to take a lie detector test or even to summon them for police questioning, because that would automatically brand them as suspects, although there was no evidence pointing to them as such.
Another option discussed was to call the reporter, Yoav Yitzhak, in for questioning or investigate his phone records, which the investigators rejected it since it would violate the right of freedom of the press.
Lieberman’s lawyer, Yaron Kostelitz, said that the investigation had not gone deep enough and hinted that the reason for the superficial treatment rested in the fact that the immediate suspects were police officers.
“Bear in mind that we are dealing with a contained leak. There is little doubt that the information was leaked from the authorities,” wrote the judges, giving the state 45 days to respond.
Lieberman originally petitioned the High Court to order an investigation into the leak in March 2008. Eight months later the investigation was closed and Lieberman petitioned the court again to have it reopened.
Lieberman has been under investigation on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust, bribery and money laundering for 11 years. The state’s decision on whether to indict or close the criminal investigation against him is expected to be made by the end of the month.