Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Nissan 5761 - April 4, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Kahalani Found Innocent of any Wrongdoing
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Avigdor Kahalani, internal security minister between June 1996 and July 1999, was acquitted of charges alleging that during his term as minister he passed information on to Ma'ariv publisher Ofer Nimrodi regarding a secret police investigation against him, as well as related breach of trust and obstruction of justice charges.

Nimrodi, whose trial continues, has been accused of conspiracy to murder, suborning witnesses, and obstruction of justice.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court cleared Kahalani of the charges due to lack of evidence, after his attorney, Dov Weisglass, requested the indictment be dropped as the prosecution had failed to prove any of the charges.

"Kahalani returns home today after a long and arduous journey, replete with hardship and pain," Judge Oded Elyagon wrote in his exoneration of Kahalani. "He has survived perhaps the most difficult of all the battles in his life: the battle for his honor as a citizen and his honor as a person." Elyagon characterized the entire investigation of Kahalani as "a trial balloon" that ended up with nothing more than "hot air."

The prosecution had argued that Kahalani knowingly harmed the Nimrodi investigation by agreeing to discuss the state's witness contract. But Elyagon stated that Kahalani's involvement in the discussion of Nimrodi's case was legitimate, and criticized police for not clearly indicating to Kahalani which material was classified, and how to treat it.

In an interview on Israel Radio, Kahalani labelled Police Cmdr. Moshe Mizrahi as instrumental in the charges against him, noting that Mizrahi had been promoted after the charges were issued. He added that he had been targeted. "Someone ought to pay the price," he said.

"If this could happen to me it could happen to any citizen in the country," Kahalani said, adding that the correct "conclusions must be drawn," before another innocent citizen is charged.

Despite a lack of evidence against Kahalani, police nevertheless decided to press charges, Weisglass said, adding that the judge had agreed to acquit Kahalani on the grounds that there was no need for the former minister to testify, because there were no charges against which he had to defend himself, Weisglass said.

Citing a string of criminal cases in which public figures were acquitted after prolonged legal battles, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert blasted state prosecutors for poor judgment, reserving particular scorn for what he called State Prosecutor Edna Arbel's "utter failure in carrying out her job." He also denounced reporters for "collaborating" with police in persecuting officials for spurious reasons.


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