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High Court Hands Down Decision on a Former Shin Bet Operative

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The Supreme Court handed down a decision Wednesday in the case of former Shin Bet operative Rafi Malka who brought charges against his former chief, Avraham Shalom. But the nature of the ruling was not disclosed. The court hearings which began last month have been held in tight secrecy.

Malka was suing for re-instatement in Israel’s top secret internal security service from which he had been dismissed by Shalom. He is one of three former Shin Bet agents who accused Shalom of ordering the murder of two Palestinian bus hijackers in custoday of security agents in April 1984 and later engaging in an elaborate cover-up.

It was those accusatios that brought what has become known as the Shin Bet affair into the public domain, the end result of which was a decision by Attorney General Yosef Harish to order a police investigation of the entire matter. The Cabinet, by majority vote Monday, refused to establish a judicial commission for that purpose.

Harish represented the government against Malka at the Supreme Court hearings which also involved Premier Shimon Peres, whom Malka accused of wrongfully approving his dismissal by Shalom. The Shin Bet chief is responsible solely to the Prime Minister. Peres’ military aide was present when the high court handed down its decision, as were attorneys for Shalom.

The allegations against Shalom were originally brought by the three ousted Shin Bet men to the attention of former Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir who ordered a police probe. Harish, who replaced Zamir last month, rescinded the order and strongly recommended a judicial inquiry.

He was required to appear before the court Wednesday to answer a show cause order why an inquiry should not be launched. He was able to tell the court that an investigation is about to be undertaken by the police.

Harish conferred Wednesday with Police Inspector-General David Kraus on preparations for the probe. According to unofficial reports, it will be headed by Inspector Yigal Markus, chief of the police investigations department. Police Minister Haim Barlev is seeking a court order to ban media coverage of the upcoming investigation.

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