Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein has asked to meet with Chief of Police Ronny Alsheich over reports that police have been gathering information on MKs and ministers. A report on Channel Ten said that the data collection has been going on for several years. Edelstein said that the report “raises serious questions” on the role of police, and how they go about developing cases against public officials.
Among those about whom data was collected, the report said, is Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, about whom Channel Ten said that “substantial evidence” had been collected relating to previous actions of his for which he could be prosecuted criminally. Erdan’s office has not responded to the report. In a statement, the Justice Ministry said that it could not comment “on information or materials that may or may not be in the hands of authorities.”
It should be noted that Erdan, like the other MKs and ministers ostensibly on the list (who were not named in the report) has never been questioned or charged with any crimes. The alleged crimes relate to the period when he was Environment Minister and Communications Minister.
In response to the report, representatives of the Attorney General’s office said that the alleged material was over two years old, and that if there was substantial suspicion of actual crimes, the information would have been transmitted to prosecutors immediately.
In his letter to Alscheich, Edelstein wrote that he wanted to meet to “ensure that police are attuned to the letter and spirit of the law, including the fact that MKs and ministers have immunity in many cases. This, of course, is not to interfere with the important work police need to do in investigating MKs, when information warrants it.”