New Attorney General Postpones Probe into ‘security Aide’ Scandal

Newly appointed Attorney General Yosef Harish has postponed a police investigation of the head of Shabak, Israel’s internal security service, and has gotten the Supreme Court to agree to defer “for a week or two” a scheduled hearing on a related case.

Harish, who took office Wednesday, replacing Yitzhak Zamir, conferred with Police Inspector General David Kraus Thursday. He told reporters that he hoped to conclude his study of the case as soon as possible and implied this might be done in a matter of days or weeks rather than months.

Zamir had ordered a police probe of Shabak chief Avraham Shalom who is accused of obstructing justice in the case of the unexplained deaths of two Arab terrorists while in custody of security agents in April, 1984. It was delayed ostensibly because Kraus was out of the country. But Zamir is known to have acted against the express wishes of a majority of the Cabinet.

His abrupt replacement by Harish was seen by many as an expression of Cabinet displeasure, though Zamir had announced his intention to resign several months ago. Premier Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir have said they would try to persuade the new Attorney General to forego a police investigation, in the interests of national security.

Peres and the Labor ministers however seem prepared to accept some sort of investigation and favor a judicial commission of inquiry. Shamir and his Herut colleagues insist the matter should be dropped altogether because of the sensitive security ramifications.

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