Shin Bet Official Admits Promoting Lover

A senior Shin Bet official who was suspended this week has acknowledged his mistake and accepted responsibility for his acts, according to his media adviser.

The top Shin Bet official suspended this week on suspicions that he helped promote his lover, also an employee of the security services, has acknowledged his mistake and accepted responsibility for his acts, his media adviser Ronen Tzur said yesterday.

Until recently, the man served as the general security services' third-in-command.

It is also alleged that he chaired a panel that suspended the woman's estranged husband, who also worked for the Shin Bet, for more than a year, without ever revealing his conflict of interest.

Tzur said the man had acted in good faith and did not deliberately hurt anyone.

Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin instructed the official, known only as A., to take a leave of absence earlier this week.

A few weeks ago the woman's former husband filed a complaint to the Civil Service Commission, accusing the man of helping to promote his former wife without disclosing that he was having an affair with her.

The commission passed the complaint on to the Shin Bet, but due to the suspect's senior position in the organization, Diskin decided an external probe was necessary and therefore turned back to the Civil Service Commission.

A. will face a Civil Service Commission disciplinary panel on Sunday, as a step before potentially dismissing him from the service. The commission is also expected to file a disciplinary complaint against A. to the civil servants' tribunal.

Tzur denied reports that A. had told anyone in the Shin Bet that he intended to resign. However, following his admission, it is expected that A. will step down after settling his resignation terms.

If A. does resign, any disciplinary measures against him would become redundant.

Attorney Pninat Yanai, who represents the Shin Bet official who filed the complaint against A., said yesterday that this was a clear and blatant case of conflict of interest. She added that the senior official never revealed the conflict of interest, even a long time after the suspension took place.

"Clearly my client felt frustrated about the goings on and the injustice caused him, but at this stage he wants to devote all his time to his work," Yanai said.