Knesset Panel to Propose Amendment to Wiretapping Procedure

Israeli police carry out 1,200 investigations involving wiretapping, comparing to 1,800 in the entire U.S.

A Knesset inquiry panel considers a series of bills to amend the current legislation on wiretapping, chairman MK Menahem Ben-Sasson (Kadima) said on Sunday.

According to the proposed amendment, the police would be required to report back to court on a regular basis and show evidence of the effectiveness of the wiretapping and its contribution to the course of the investigation.

Official figures showing that virtually all requests for wiretapping are approved. Therefore, the panel also recommends that the board approving wiretapping will comprise of a police lawyer and another legal representative, as well as a judge and a prosecutor.

The Israeli police carry out some 1,200 investigations involving wiretapping annually, comparing to 1,800 in the entire U.S.

The panel also recommends that the police will be required to hand the entire wiretapping-related investigation material to the defendants, and not only what it deems relevant. A deadline for the destruction of the tapes and transcripts will also be determined upon approving wiretapping, whereas there is no such stipulation at present.