TEL AVIV (Dec. 30)
The investigation of Israeli air force Brig. Gen. Rami Dotan moved closer to home over the weekend as allegations surfaced that he had fraudulent dealings with the government-owned Beit Shemesh aircraft engine repair works.
Dotan is accused of bilking the Israel Defense Force of tens of millions of dollars through bribery, embezzlement and other illegal acts when he was senior procurement officer for the air force in New York in 1984 and 1985.
He is now reported also to have been involved in a scheme that billed the air force for fictitious repairs at the Beit Shemesh plant.
The new charges center on Dotan’s friendship with Menachem Karmon, the air force liaison officer with the engine repair factory until his unexplained suicide several years ago. Dotan married Karmon’s widow, Alla.
IDF Judge Advocate General Amnon Strashnov, the chief military prosecutor, announced Dec. 20 that Dotan agree to a plea bargain whereby he would confess all and return his loot in exchange for his wife’s immunity from prosecution.
He already reportedly has implicated another friend, the senior air force officer who replaced Karmon at Beit Shemesh. The officer was questioned by police last week.
But many senior IDF officers believe Dotan should be tried for treason. Last week, a reserve officer appealed to the High Court of Justice to void the plea bargain.
Dotan, who was under military police guard at Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he was receiving treatment for high blood pressure, reportedly was moved over the weekend to a military base hospital, where he cannot be reached by the media.