The Internal Affairs Department, a Justice Ministry unit that investigates policemen suspected of wrongdoing, has decided not to indict a senior officer who failed to process information concerning sex abuse offences by Jerusalem District commander Nisso Shaham.
Instead, the department decided that Brig. Gen. Nissim Edri will face a police disciplinary panel. After being informed of the department's decision, Israel Police chief Yohanan Danino decided to extend Edri's suspension until his disciplinary hearing.
Shaham was under Edri's direct command. When the Shaham affair was revealed a week ago, it was mentioned that Edri, commander of the Tzion district in Jerusalem, did not process information he had about Shaham's alleged offences.
Edri was suspected of ignoring information he received from one of his officers instead of passing the information, according to protocol, to authorized personal dealing with such cases.
As a result, Edri was suspended and was interrogated several days ago by the internal affairs unit. Edri denied the accusations, claiming he ignored the information, until he was confronted by the officer who informed him of his commander's deeds.
The department says that Edri sinned twice: By not processing the information and by lying during his interrogation. The department published a statement saying that, "following the investigation it seems that the senior officer - who is also in charge of the woman who complained – refrained from processing the information, and kept it to himself."
The department said that Edri is suspected of several disciplinary wrongdoings, and therefore recommended that he be disciplined.
After the murder of Be'er Sheva resident Gadi Veichman earlier this year, police chief Danino said that several officers had lied about their actions, and dismissed one police officer. At the time, Danino said that he would not tolerate lying in the police force.
A police spokesperson said in response: "After receiving the department's decision concerning Edri - including the recommendation that he be disciplined - police commissioner Yohanan Danino decided, in view of the suspicions and the officer's alleged behavior during the investigation, that [Edri] will be suspended until the disciplinary department will recommend further action in his matter."
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