Haham Said Life Was in Danger, Cops Didn't Investigate

A month before he was murdered, attorney Yoram Haham told police at the Police International Investigation's Unit that he feared for his life, but they ignored his complaint and told him to lodge it at a local police station, Haaretz learned Monday.

According to police sources, it is not clear whether Haham gave the names of those who he feared wanted him dead, but no further action was taken on account of the information he provided, the source said.

"I'm not confirming or denying this report. It's very sensitive," Chief Superintendent Ephraim Bracha, with whom Haham allegedly met, said Monday.

Initial media reports indicated that Haham, who was killed when an explosive device blew up his car last week, had been summoned by police shortly before his death. During the meeting, he was allegedly warned that his life was in danger. However, according to information obtained by Haaretz from a source close to the slain lawyer, it was Haham who initiated the meeting with police officers.

While at the International Investigation's Unit compound, Haham spoke to Bracha and told him about threats made against his life. Bracha, who used to be stationed with the Tel Aviv District Police, allegedly told the attorney to file his complaint at a local police station, which he apparently never did. Tel Aviv District Police were taken by surprise when they learned of Haham's killing. But they discovered that their colleagues at the International Investigation's Unit, located in Petah Tikva, were less surprised at the news.

Meanwhile, Yohanan Danino, the head of police investigations and intelligence, denied a separate report Monday stating that the Israel Prison Service had allegedly obtained prior information that Haham was targeted. "It has no basis in reality," Danino told the Knesset's State Control Committee in an emergency meeting called in the wake of the assassination. "When a threat seems imminent, we take all the necessary precautions."

Danino responded to concerns by MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) over rising crime, saying that rates in Israel were still much lower than in most Western countries.