Police Chief’s Takeover of Investigatory Unit Challenged

Israeli Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich’s planned takeover of the investigatory unit Lahav 433, which has been probing allegations against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other major figures, has run into opposition from several MKs.

If Mr. Alsheich gains control over the unit, it would mean that he would have authority to open or close investigations, until now the prerogative of the Attorney General’s office.

“This is an intentional weakening of the head of investigations and intelligence position. I do not see this as an innocent move,” Yesh Atid MK Yoav Segalovitz, who served as intelligence and investigation chief from 2009-2013, was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post.
“Right now when the prime minister is under investigation for suspected corruption, the police commissioner changes the head of Lahav 433. Maybe it is kosher but it is fishy,” said Yesh Atid MK Micky Levy, a former police commander in Yerushalayim. “It is as if you take the police commissioner and make him head of a special operations unit. This doesn’t happen.”

A police source dismissed the objections, insisting that it would merely be part of a larger restructuring, without any ulterior political motive.

“The allegations that a movement of Lahav 433 would weaken the investigations department is simply not true,” said the source. “This would be just a small part of a large rearranging of the police.”

A spokeswoman for Lahav 433 said on Tuesday that Alsheich’s plan has not been finalized, and is still under consideration.

The Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the matter.