Ministry official quizzed over fatal Mount Herzl accident
Ceremony organized by the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, which employs both people questioned.
A senior government official and her assistant were questioned on Sunday by police investigating possible negligence in the death of 1st Lt. Hila Bezaleli, who was killed at an Independence Day ceremony rehearsal at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery earlier this month. The ceremony had been organized by the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, which employs both people questioned.
Staff at the ministry, which had contracted out various technical services relating to the ceremony, expressed surprise at the questioning of the senior official on Sunday, because she had already provided testimony to the police. She and her assistant were questioned Sunday under caution, meaning that the police foresee the possibility that criminal charges could be filed against them.
The senior official had overall responsibility for the torchlighting ceremony, but ministry sources said that the suspicion relates only to the choice of contractors. The ministry issued a statement saying that it was cooperating fully in the investigation.
At a court hearing on the case last week, police representatives said there were concrete suspicions of negligence at every level of planning, execution and supervision for the construction of the ceremony facilities. Bezaleli died when a lighting rig installed for the ceremony collapsed.