Attorneys Slam Wiretap Report

The two senior prosecutors cited by the state comptroller for misconduct in the handling of wiretaps recorded during the "kiss affair" investigation of former minister Haim Ramon yesterday assailed the report, which continues to reverberate in the public sphere.

Representatives for Tel Aviv District Attorney Ruth David and prosecutor Ariela Segal-Antler said yesterday that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' report, which criticized them for "substantive negligence" for not taking all of the Ramon wiretaps into account before submitting the indictment to the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, was based on a faulty protocol of Segal-Antler's testimony to the comptroller.

Ramon, a former justice minister, was convicted in January 2007 of forcibly kissing a female soldier in what has become known as "the kiss affair." During the trial Ramon claimed that material from the wiretaps that would have bolstered his defense had been concealed from him.

While Lindenstrauss' report accused the attorneys of negligence, it ruled that their actions were not borne of malice or a "system-wide failure." The report did recommend disciplinary measures against the attorneys. In response, Segal-Antler and David filed a petition on Monday with the High Court of Justice against the Lindenstrauss report.

The prosecutors said yesterday that the comptroller refused to hear arguments in their defense even after he was presented with facts that exonerated them.

"The state comptroller plugged his ears and shut his eyes to the documents and verbal statements that were presented to him," said one of the prosecutors' attorneys, Barak Calev. "This material provided a simple and clear rebuttal of the claims against the two prosecutors."