AG to investigate leak of Olmert's police testimony
Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has informed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's attorney and the attorney for Olmert's former bureau chief that he wants to question Olmert's family, his lawyers, his interns, PR and administrative staff, and others to discover the source of leaks to the press of two transcripts of Olmert's questioning by police.
Transcripts of the questioning of Olmert and attorney Uri Messer were published in the press over the past week, and Eli Zohar, Olmert's lawyer, filed a complaint with Mazuz about the leaks.
Mazuz's senior aide, attorney Raz Nizri, wrote Zohar and Micha Pettman, who represents Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken, that "possibilities have been studied to investigate the source of the transmission of the material to the press." Nizri also wrote that such leaks might call into question the integrity of the legal process.
The letter also states that the Justice Ministry would be going over the list of everyone who had access to the materials, so as "to evaluate the feasibility of an effective investigation of the matter."
Nizri asked Zohar and Pettman to provide such a list to Mazuz as soon as possible. He also asked that all those on the list consent to a polygraph test.
The letter stated that the State Attorney's bureau had also been asked to provide a list of its personnel and police officials who had access to the material, and to obtain their agreement to polygraph tests. He said the attorney general's staff would also be asked to agree to polygraphs.
Police Maj. Gen. Yohanan Danino, head of the police investigations and intelligence division, said yesterday that the police are willing to undergo any test, including polygraphs, to locate the source of the leaks.
Danino suggested yesterday that the leaks had come from Olmert's lawyers or others involved in the case who had received the investigative material.
"Experience from the recent investigation shows that the full transcripts of the interrogations and testimony given to the police are leaked after the material is released from the sole custody of law enforcement authorities and are given to others, as in this case," said Danino.
In a lecture to an officer training course at the Shfaram police training facility, Danino also said: "The proof is that the investigative material in the current file, which is still held solely by the police and the State Prosecutor's Office, has not been reported in the press."
Danino rejected claims that the police were behind the recent leaks. "We reject and denounce the phenomenon of leaks, and of course we outrightly reject the hints and finger-pointing at the law-enforcement system, which, naturally, aims to place law enforcement in a negative light and erode public faith in the system."
Danino said that following publication of the first transcripts of the interrogation in Maariv on Sunday, he approached State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and Mazuz to discuss the possibility of locating those responsible for the leaks, including the administering of polygraph tests to police.
Olmert's media advisor, Amir Dan, said yesterday in response to Danino's remarks: "If law enforcement officials have nothing to hide, let them be so good as to immediately open an investigation of the tendentious leakes instead of releasing baseless statements."
Dan said the fact that the leaks came out after the police had released the material to others proved nothing, since if the police were behind them they would wait until the material had been released so as to hide their alleged role.