Senior Israel Police officials appealed to State Attorney Amit Aisman claiming that state attorneys are leaking sensitive information from police investigations to dangerous criminal organizations, Kan 11 News reported Tuesday.
News host Ayala Hasson reported Tuesday evening that two state attorneys were accused of passing sensitive information to the Abu Latif crime family. The Abu Latif family has been labeled by police as one of the three biggest Arab crime families in Israel.
According to Hasson, she was approached by exasperated police officers who say that despite their repeated reports to State Attorney Aisman, they were ignored. The investigators also approached Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara who is yet to respond.
In early May, according to Ynet, despite the significant evidence against the head of the crime family, Latif Abu Latif, the state attorney’s office, which is supposed to submit indictments in serious investigative cases to the district court, dropped the case for an unclear reason, and the indictment was submitted by the prosecution unit in the Lahav 433 police investigation unit – with reduced charges.
According to the indictment, Abu Latif and other defendants blackmailed a contractor with threats, forcing him to give up a Ministry of Defense tender worth NIS 25 million that he had won and transfer the work to a contractor on their behalf. However, at the hearing that took place last Thursday at the Magistrate’s Court in Hadera, Judge Yifat Onger Biton forced the police prosecutor to amend the indictment against the head of the criminal organization, so that it would not state the fact that the contractor gave up the tender due to the extortion by threats.
According to the indictment, Abu Latif and other defendants blackmailed a contractor with threats, forcing him to give up a defense ministry tender he had won worth NIS 25 million ($6.72 million) and transfer the work to their contractor. However, at the hearing that took place at the Magistrate’s Court in Hadera, Judge Yifat Onger Biton forced the police prosecutor to amend the indictment against the head of the criminal organization, so that it would not state the fact that the contractor gave up the tender under extortion.
In February, Israel Police reported seeking indictments in Case 6006 against the Abu Latif crime family, and that it intended to interrogate 100 witnesses. The investigation, which was conducted over the past year by the Tax Authority and the Northern District Police, focused on tax evasions, and on February 1 led to an extraordinary raid nicknamed “The Black Billionaire.” Officers arrested 21 senior members of the organization, including the head of the Rama Local Council, Shawki Abu Latif.
The State Attorney’s office responded: “The aforementioned claim was presented to the state attorney by the Israel Police. The state attorney requested that the Israel Police act urgently to clarify the matter, in any way it deems appropriate.”
Better late than never?