Comptroller Starts Wiretap Probe

The State Comptroller's Office began a comprehensive investigation into the use of wiretaps yesterday by interviewing Chief Superintendent Gadi Siso, head of the wiretapping department at national police headquarters.

The cabinet had asked the comptroller to look into the use of wiretaps in criminal investigations, including the tactics employed by police and prosecutors and the use made of the information collected, in view of complaints that had been raised on this issue in recent years. The appeal to the comptroller was a compromise agreed on after the cabinet rejected Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann's proposal to set up a governmental inquiry committee specifically on the police and prosecution's concealment of wiretaps during the trial of Friedmann's predecessor, Haim Ramon.

The probe is being headed by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss himself. The team also includes the director of the department responsible for auditing government ministries, Boaz Aner, and two other senior officials.

Siso was interviewed for three hours. He gave the investigating team data on how frequently wiretaps are used and the nature of his department's work.

Other people expected to be interviewed on the issue include Friedmann and Ramon (who is now deputy prime minister); Public Security Minister Avi Dichter; Attorney General Menachem Mazuz; State Prosecutor Moshe Lador; former state prosecutor Eran Shendar; Police Commissioner David Cohen and his predecessor, Moshe Karadi; Yohanan Danino, who heads the police's investigations and intelligence department; and Danino's predecessor, Moshe Mizrahi.

Also on the list are retired judge Shalom Brenner, who examined the handling of the Ramon case on behalf of AG Mazuz, and retired judge Vardi Zeiler, who did the same on behalf of Daniel Friedmann's. (Tomer Zarchin)