State comptroller to investigate '06 informant killings
Probe to focus on a complaint filed by Commander Israel Abarbanel against police officials he blames for whitewashing failings within the force that led to the sources' deaths.
The State Comptroller's Office will begin its investigation this week into a string of police informant killings in 2006.
After allowing Central District police to conduct its own internal investigation for over two years, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss this week ordered a comprehensive investigation into the matter. The probe will focus on a complaint filed by Commander Israel Abarbanel against police officials he blames for whitewashing failings within the force that led to the sources' deaths.
Eyal Salhoub, a Pardes Hannah resident with an extensive criminal record, was the first of the informants to be killed, after members of a crime syndicate suspected him of turning into a police informant. A series of murders under similar circumstances followed soon after.
Abarbanel's complaint singles out Police Commissioner David Cohen for blame. Cohen was Central District chief at the time of the killings. Abarbanel told Haaretz last week that he trusts Lindenstrauss' office to reveal the truth.
"This inquiry must reach the very top of the police, particularly Commissioner Cohen," he said.
A statement from the State Comptroller's Office last week said, "This office has already announced that once the police had finished its internal probe, we would examine the manner in which these sources were operated and what led to their deaths. We still intend to do that."
The police said in response, "The ongoing, uncompromising fight against crime demands the broad operation of intelligence resources, including human intelligence. Their operation is conducted according to a set of organized rules, the results of which are evident daily in the results achieved in the fight against organized crime."
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