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Photo: Dudu Bachar

Cops beat ambassador's wife

Immigration Police officers engage in violent clash with wife of Dominican Republic ambassador to Israel during attempt to detain her housemaid. 'Policemen were unaware the house was of foreign envoys,' police say in response

Police violence: Chief of the Immigration Police in Tel Aviv was faced with an unpleasant diplomatic crisis Sunday, after the wife of Dominican Republic's Ambassador to Israel Leonardo Cohen charged officers of his division aggressively beat her up during an attempt to detain her housemaid, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.


According to the envoy's wife, policemen showed up at her doorstep Sunday, after tailing her housemaid from the street at the prestigious Herzliya Pituach neighborhood, just north of Tel Aviv.


The cops asked the ambassador's wife to present them with papers and diplomatic documents, and after noticing the housemaid's tourist visa has expired, asked the employee to accompany them to the station.


At this point in the story, police and the ambassador's wife provide contradicting versions to what took place. Policemen claim the wife reacted to their request by running at their direction with a knife in her hands, and claimed they had to subdue the woman by force in order to prevent her from hurting them.


The ambassador's wife, on the other hand, said the cops violently hit her after she approached them with a garden tool she was holding at the time, and that she was consequently evacuated to the hospital for treatment.


Police apologize


During the incident, the woman phoned her husband, who immediately called the Foreign Ministry to protest the police's behavior.


Several hours following the incident, after police chiefs discovered their subordinates assaulted a diplomat's wife, a representative of the department arrived at Cohen's house to apologize for the incident. Police also agreed to refrain from detaining the housemaid, on the condition she leaves Israel voluntarily.


Responding to the affair, the Immigration Police said the officers were unaware the house they entered was the house of a diplomat.


However, as a result of official protest by the Foreign Ministry to the force, the Police Investigation Unit is set to launch a probe into the matter.


Dudi Nissim and Nehama Duek contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 02.06.06, 10:27
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