MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Censor says didn’t shut down Ofer Knesset hearing

Who sent Knesset Economics Committee's chairman the mysterious note that abruptly ended hearing on Ofer Brothers' alleged ties with Iran?

The Knesset Economics Committee's hearing on the Tanker Pacific scandal came to an abrupt halt Tuesday afternoon, after Committee Chairman MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) received a mysterious note that prompted him to adjourn it.


Ynet learned that both the head of Knesset Security and the Military Censor deny giving the order.


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The Knesset Economics Committee called the special meeting, which included delegates from the Defense, Foreign and Trade ministries as well as the Prime Minister's Office, following media reports suggesting that an oil-tanker owned by Tanker Pacific – a shipping company owned by the Israel-based Ofer Brothers – had docked in Iran.



Israeli law strictly forbids any contact, trade or otherwise, with the Islamic Republic.


Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin had apparently warned MK Shama-Hacohen that the hearing may reveal highly classified information, and that he must gear for the possibility of holding the session behind closed doors.


Rivlin, Ynet learned, received a call from Knesset Security Chief Joseph Griff, who is also responsible for the House's information security. As a result, a Military Censor delegate, as well as a representative from the Knesset Information Security Unit were present at the hearing.


Still, Rivlin's spokesman insisted the mysterious note was not sent by the Knesset speaker.


The Military Censor said that "while Censor agents are sometimes present in Knesset committees' hearings or briefings, the order to stop the meeting was not issued by the Censor delegate present there, neither directly or indirectly."


MK Shama-Hacohen said that the decision to adjourn the meeting was his and his alone: "No one can order a Knesset member around. This was my decision, made according to my discretion following information I had received. It was not directed by any political element."


Avigail Looshi contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 05.31.11, 19:20
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