Police: Ramon's Friend Hired PI to Follow Complainant H.

Police believe that one of Vice Premier Haim Ramon's close friends commissioned a private investigations firm to look into the actions of the young woman whom Ramon forcibly kissed last year.

According to the police investigation, which was launched following a probe by Haaretz, Ephraim Kunda "took it upon himself" to pay Wizman Yaar Investigations NIS 100,000 "to find evidence to undermine the young woman's credibility."

The police, who are investigating whether Wizman Yaar broke the law by following the young woman, yesterday questioned a private investigator, Dana Ben Shushan, who tried to get the complainant against Ramon to talk to her about the case.

The investigation was launched following a Haaretz article yesterday on the investigation which the private investigators conducted on the complainant, mentioned in the Israeli media only by the first letter of her name, H. The complainant confirmed that she had been approached by a woman matching Dana Ban Shushan's description.

Following the probe, the complainant decided to go to the police and the state attorney's office to report the incident. Ramon was convicted in January for forcibly kissing the complainant. State Attorney Eran Shendar, who is following the investigation closely, said that the private probe against the complainant could constitute witness harassment.

The police are unsure whether the investigation firm's actions were illegal. The firm denies that they were. Some police officials say that their investigation shows that witness harassment had indeed occurred. Other officials doubt that the findings could support an indictment.

Ramon wasn't called in for questioning on his involvement in the matter. Before he is called in, police will have to obtain the approval of the attorney general. Police officials told Haaretz they thought Ramon should be called in. Ramon's reaction and that of Kunda could not be attained.

Jonathan Lis and Yigal Hai contributed to this article.