Depositions to Begin in Ramon Wiretapping Investigation

The investigation into the police use of wiretapping during the criminal investigation of Haim Ramon is to enter the evidentiary phase next week.

The head of the electronic surveillance department at national police headquarters, Chief Superintendent Gad Siso, is to be the first witness, followed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann; his predecessor, Ramon; and the head of police investigations and intelligence, Commissioner Yohanan Danino.

Public Security Minister and former Shin Bet security service head Avi Dichter, will also be asked to testify, including about the organization's ties with the police regarding the wiretapping.

Additional witnesses include National Police Commissioner David Cohen and his predecessor Moshe Karadi, former head of investigations Moshe Mizrahi and Miri Golan, who headed the police national fraud unit during the investigation against Ramon.

Ramon was convicted of an indecent act against a female IDF officer.

Tel Aviv District Court Judge Uri Goren is also expected to testify. Goren retroactively approved the police's use in the Ramon case of wiretapping transcripts from the probe of Prime Minister's Bureau chief Shula Zaken in connection to the Tax Authority investigation.

Former Jerusalem District Court judge (ret.) Vardi Zeiler and his deputy, retired Judge Shalom Brener, will also be asked to testify. Last year Brener compiled a report citing failures and negligence, but not malice, in the state's handling of wiretapping in the Ramon affair.

The cabinet appointed State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to conduct the inquiry rather than establishing a government commission of inquiry into the affair, as Friedmann and Ramon, now vice premier, had demanded. That demand was based on Zeiler's examination of Brener's report.

Another witness on Lindenstrauss' list is Haifa District Attorney Lili Borishansky. During Lindenstrauss' term as Haifa District Court president, the police used to run their wiretapping requests by the district attorney before asking for Lindenstrauss' approval.

As a judge, Lindenstrauss acknowledged that wiretapping was important in the fight against crime but he made sure the police's requests were justified.

Brener will submit the documents and depositions gathered in his inquiry to Lindenstrauss, who will be assisted by his office staff Boaz Aner, Hanna Yizraelovich, Rami Haimowitz and Oz Berko.