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General News    H3'ed 7/2/15

The Rabin assassination and government corruption in Israel

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Over the past year the State of Israel has been rocked by never-ending corruption scandals, involving the highest levels of the justice and law enforcement systems. However, the modus operandi has so far involved covering it all up through a series of bizarre show trials. The most likely reason: Key figures in the recent corruption scandals, Ruth David -- former Tel-Aviv District Attorney, and Efraim Bracha -- senior Israel Police commander, were also key figures in perverting the Rabin assassination investigation for the benefit of the powers that be. Regardless of the squabbles between Netanyahu and Obama, the US stands firm behind the powers, which took over control of the State of Israel following the assassination...

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Two of the key figures in current corruption scandals: Commander of the Israel Police National Fraud Investigations Unit Efraim Bracha and former Tel-Aviv District Attorney Ruth David. Both also served in key positions in the Rabin assassination investigations. It Is believed that their role in perverting the investigation of the Shin-Bet's involvement in the assassination is the reason for their kid's glove treatment in the current explosive corruption scandal.


The State of Israel has been rocked over the past year by what seems like a never-ending stream of corruption scandals. The essence of most cases is widespread bribing affairs involving senior government officials. However, the most recent affairs went further, with allegations including in the trading by senior law enforcement officers and judges in criminal investigations and criminal litigation cases with the suspects/defendants.

A series of bizarre show trials
The previous round of scandals involved several cases, related to former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his former secretary, and separately, cases related to "kabbalist" Josiah Pinto. In both scandals, the Israeli justice system handled the cases through bizarre show trials, which were supposed to appear to the public at large as fair public trials, but were none of it.

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Double books for dockets: State of Israel v Zerni ( 10291-01-12 ) in the Tel-Aviv District Court -- bribing trial of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the Holyland corruption scandal. The court file is "open to the public" (i.e., not sealed). Top: The public access system on April 6, 2015 shows only 63 decisions, most of them unsigned, truncated, or otherwise invalid records. Bottom: The Court's access system on March 22, 2015 shows 253 decisions. Neither docket lists the conviction and sentencing records, which were widely reported by media, based on pronouncement of Judge David Rosen in open court. However, the 2012 Ombudsman of the Judiciary report notes that Israeli judges today do not hold the reading of decisions or judgments in open court as final. Judgments are also routinely missing from the judgment index, and Judge Rosen denied repeat requests to access the court file to inspect and to copy. The maintenance of double books for dockets, one of the fraudulent features of the new IT systems of the Israeli courts, is accepted by Israeli attorneys and judges as reasonable (the total number of records in each case appears in the lowest line of the figure).


Of particular note regarding these trials, is the habit of the Israeli courts over the past half decade, following the implementation of new IT systems in the courts, of keeping double books for dockets. The cases are purportedly "public", i.e., not sealed. However, the courts keep one docket in their internal system, and a different one on the publicly accessible system. For example, in the bribing trial of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, at the time that the public docket held only 63 decisions, the internal docket of the court held over 250 decisions. In order to permit such double bookkeeping, the records are unnumbered. Notably, both dockets fail to include valid conviction or sentencing records of former prime minster Olmert, although the rendering of such decisions was widely reported by Israeli media -- based on oral pronouncements of the judge in open court. [i]

The general aim of such perversion of justice by the courts appears to be aimed at convicting specific individuals, while permitting others, who were deeply involved in the same corruption scandals, to walk free.

However, the current stage of the evolving corruption scandals went much further. It concerns two key figures in the justice system -- top Israel Police commander Efraim Bracha and former Tel-Aviv District Attorney Ruth David. Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog, an attorney himself, and hardly one who is known for any controversial statements, was quoted saying that the current scandal is the "Day of Atonement" of the Israeli justice system.

Israel Police Commander Efraim Bracha

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Israeli "News1" outlet compared Israel Police top commander Efraim Bracha to J Edgar Hoover -- given Bracha's perceived immunity and ability to extort the justice system and prevent his investigation.


The case of Commander Efraim Bracha is unique: Bracha heads the National Fraud Unit of the Israel Police, a job that can be approximately compared to FBI Assistant Director for Criminal Investigations. Already in "kabbalist" Pinto case, there was plenty of evidence that Bracha accepted bribes for inside information regarding various investigations. In an unusual move, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch wrote a letter, supporting Rabbi Pinto's allegations that Pinto paid Bracha bribes. [i]

Haaretz daily leaked transcripts from the investigation of the case, where Bracha was confronted with Pinto. [ii]

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Dr Zernik's core research pertains to e-government and its significance for Human Rights and Civil Society.

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