A former leading candidate for police chief, who is on leave from the force after being accused of sexual assault several months ago, is negotiating with the Justice Ministry's police investigations department to close the case against him, sources said.
The lawyer representing Uri Bar-Lev, Dori Klagsbald, proposed that he resign from the force altogether, but receive his full retirement benefits, the sources said. Bar-Lev indeed submitted a resignation request recently.
Internal police investigators decided in December that there is sufficient evidence to indict Bar-Lev on charges that he sexually harassed Orly Innes - an anti-violence advocate who has waived her right to conceal her identity in the case - and that he attempted to commit an indecent act by force.
A decision to close the case against Bar-Lev, who is on leave as a major general in the police force, must be approved by State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
The Justice Ministry would not confirm or deny the fact that talks were going on, and said: "We do not customarily respond to conversations with defense attorneys."
Innes' lawyer, Rachel Toren, said she was not aware of any such negotiations. Bar-Lev refused to comment.
Sources said that Klagsbald has held several conversations with the head of the police investigations department, Uri Carmel, about closing the case, and that Klagsbald is arguing that Bar-Lev has already paid a high price by having his reputation smeared publicly.
Although internal police investigators found that there was sufficient evidence for an indictment in the Innes case, they said there was not enough evidence to indict Bar-Lev on charges related to complaints brought by a woman identified only as M., who accused Bar-Lev of drugging and raping her.
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