The former chief interrogator that questioned terrorist Mustafa Dirani and was later accused of being responsible for a series of acts of abuse and rape filed a damages claim against the State of Israel and the Defense Ministry on Sunday. He is seeking NIS 5.5 million ($1.45 million) in damages.
Dirani, a senior Hezbollah member, was kidnapped by Israel in 1994 to serve as "bargaining chip" in a bid to gather information on the whereabouts of navigator Ron Arad. He was released as part of a prisoner exchange deal in 2004 which saw Elhanan Tannenbaum and the bodies of three soldiers returned to Israel.
The plaintiff's attorney, Effi Naveh, said his client "was thrown to the wolves" after a tape proving that a Military Intelligence unit commander had in fact threatened Dirani was concealed for years. The tape was recently exposed in the Uvda news magazine program. "He is demanding that all those who concealed the tape be brought to justice."
Plaintiff in court (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
The plaintiff, who remains anonymous, claims that the State singled him out as a scapegoat following a lawsuit Dirani filed for alleged acts of sodomy. He is also accusing the State of exposing or leaking his identity to the public while risking his and his family's safety.
"My activity throughout the investigation, including its strategy, was lawful and supervised and approved by my commanders and Israel's highest security echelons," he claimed.
According to the suit, the Military Prosecution launched a probe into the interrogator at the end of which it was decided not to prosecute him. "He was nevertheless dismissed from the army and when he tried to clear his name he demanded the High Court of Justice order the disclosure of the tapes. Forty-six tapes were handed over but the most important one was hidden for years and only recently exposed."
The claim notes a letter sent to Attorney Naveh in 2006 claiming there was no basis to the claim that investigation materials had been kept secret.
Attorney Nahev claims his client has information indicating similar cover-ups in other "dreadful affairs that ended with fatalities. They shall be revealed in court."
Naveh also mentioned that efforts by his client to find work since his dismissal were thwarted. The suit was accompanied by a letter in which 60 reservists from the plaintiff's unit express their support of him.
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