Contractor Suspected of Bribing Israeli Police Officers for Information on Inquiries

The suspect, who is from central Israel, is accused of offering the police officers money in exchange for reports on a covert investigation.

Illustration: A man in handcuffs.
Eyal Varshavsky

A contractor was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of bribing officers in the police crime-fighting unit in exchange for information about ongoing investigations.

The Police Internal Investigations Department recently held a covert inquiry into suspicions against officers in the unit, known as Lahav 433.

At the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the police prosecutor accused the contractor, along with another suspect, of bribing officers in Lahav 433 and trading in information he received from them. He is also suspected of obstructing justice and harassing a witness.

The contractor, who comes from central Israel, was arrested following a probe by the investigations department.

The inquiry began after suspicions were raised that the contractor had been in touch with police officers in the crime-fighting unit in connection to a covert investigation the they were conducting on a businessman.

He allegedly offered the officers money for information about the investigation and a promise to keep him briefed on any developments in it.

“I looked at the material gathered so far and I think there is a reasonable cause for suspicion," Judge Dana Cohen-Lekach wrote in her ruling. She extended the suspect’s detention by two days.

Sources from the Police Internal Investigations Department said the investigation is in its early stages and it’s not clear yet whether officers from the crime fighting unit had disclosed information about covert investigations, or if they knew the suspect was trading in this information.