As first reported by Yedioth Ahronoth, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein asked Hong Kong's secretary of justice for clarifications and material which would allow him to get to the bottom of the incident. The Hong Kong authorities agreed to cooperate under the condition that Frenkel would waive his right to confidentiality granted to him as an interrogee.
Now that Frenkel has given his consent to the move, Weinstein hopes to receive the investigation material from Hong Kong within 10 days, as well as security camera footage from the airport. Once the information arrives, the attorney general will compare the evidence to the version Prof. Frenkel gave the Turkel Committee on senior civil service appointments.
When Frenkel was asked to explain why he had failed to pay for the bag, he said he had been in a rush to catch a flight and had therefore asked his colleague – an economist from Canada – to pay for it at the duty free shop. When he was found to be in possession of an unpaid product, he was detained for questioning, and was released only following the intervention of a local lawyer, Sharon Sar.
After Frenkel and his economist colleague signed a deposition providing a similar version, the Honk Kong authorities declared the case closed. Frenkel claimed the letter he received included an apology, but Calcalist reported Sunday that the word "apology" did not appear in the document.
If Weinstein reaches the conclusion that Frenkel's version contradicts that of the Hong Kong authorities, he may maintain that the appointment could raise "significant legal difficulties" and that he would find it difficult to defend it in case of a High Court petition.
After the Turkel Committee receives the attorney general's opinion and examines the material itself, it will decide whether to approve or disqualify Frenkel's appointment as head of Israel's central bank.
Gad Lior contributed to this report