JERUSALEM (Apr. 24)
The State Attorney’s office announced today that it has dropped on investigation of allegations that archaeologist Yigal Yadin violated foreign currency regulations because no substantial evidence has been found to support them. But a criminal libel suit brought by Yadin against his accuser, Hoolam Hazeh reporter Yigal Laviv, is still pending in a Tel Aviv district court. Yadin heads the Democratic Movement for Change.
Laviv, whose investigative reporting led to the conviction of former Kupat Holim chief Asher Yadlin on charges of bribe-taking and fraud, claimed recently that Yadin had exported a collection of ancient weapons found in an archaeological dig and mishandled a check from a California bank, both illegal acts. But the State Attorney’s office informed Laviv that its investigations determined that no illegalities were perpetrated by Yadin and that the check in question had been paid into an Israeli account in compliance with the currency laws.
A group of prominent archaeologists published on open letter this week refuting another charge by Laviv that Yadin had failed to publish a scientific report of his excavations at Masada in order to retain the information for a new book. The signatories, including Israel Prize winner Prof. Nachman Avigad, said that Yadin had indeed published an account of his findings at Masada as required by law although in abbreviated form because all of the archaeological evidence had not yet been evaluated. They noted that Yadin published complete reports on his excavations at Hazor in the Judoean desert and never withheld information for his books which never-the less became international best sellers.