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Protocol of Meeting Between State Prosecution & GSS Officials
State of Israel Ministry of Justice Attorney General Jerusalem, 29 Sivan, 5756 16 June, 1996 Letter # 2976/96 File #: 403 (In reply) please quote our # Summary of a Meeting re: The Swearing-In Ceremony of "Eyal". Meeting Date: 2.5.96 [May 2, 1996] Location: Attorney General Office In attendance: Attorney-General [A.G. - Michael Ben Yair] State Attorney [Edna Arbel] Jerusalem District Attorney [Ledor] C' Kallo, E' Barak, G' Ben-Ami - GSS N' Ben-Or, Head of the Criminal Division in the State Attorney's Office T' Sasson, Head of Civil Matters State Attorney's office. L' Chavilio, Senior Assistant in the Jerusalem District Attorney's Office N' Solberg, Senior Assistant to the Attorney-General Synopsis of deliberations: On evidence re File 133/95 - The swearing-in ceremony of the "Eyal" a document from 29.3.96 by Leora Chavilio: The summary report of investigation - "Eyal" swearing-in ceremony, document from 5.2.96 by Y' Rodman. A.G.: We have all seen the videotape. Anyone who was there, on location, should have understood that this was not an authentic ceremony. Even the Shamgar Commission explicitly noted this in its report. Chavilio: I didn't notice that the non authentic sections were abridged intentionally. I see a problem with issuing an indictment against the reporter. A.G.: Perhaps a disciplinary action [should be taken] against the reporter? C. Kallo: We are talking here about the handling of a problematic agent. The loss-benefit evaluation: 8-9 this man was activated. Most of this period - he generally worked well, except for the last year. He provided us thousands of pieces [of information] + affairs. During the last year - he lost control, and we nipped the problem in the bud. He underwent an initial investigation, and admitted [to his actions]. We continued to employ him. As for the story of the videotape [of the staged Eyal swearing-in ceremony], from our perspective, this is a most serious episode. Our officials deliberated on the matter, and decided that he was out of control and that it was impossible to continue his operations. However we established new rules of operation, cut-off, psychological examinations. It was made quite clear to him that we wouldn't continue along the same path, and that he would not receive immunity for crimes he committed. In hindsight now, if we had gone ahead and broken off our ties with him, maybe he would have given us the murderer [of Yitzchak Rabin]. His indictment would be a charge against the Service. [GSS]. We would have to reveal all of our rules operation. It would cause serious operational damage. We have to remember that our opponents pose some serious threats today. During a trial, everything would come out in public. I don't recall a trial against a GSS agent that was conducted behind closed doors. Great damage could be caused - revelation of operational strategies, etc. Ben-Or: The attorney who will represent Avishai Raviv would have a strong ideological bias, and it is possible that he would cooperate with extremist elements, and that secrets would be exposed. Sasson: They would do everything they could to reveal secrets. Ben-Ami: Concerning criminal intentions:Did he intend to commit a crime? He was suspected as a [GSS] collaborator and he had to prove himself [to right-wing activists]. He had to remove all [their] suspicions [that he was an agent]. Dorit Beinish gave approval for his activities next to Bar-Ilan University, to incriminate someone else who would then be caught. He had to protect himself. Any Defense Attorney will call Raviv to the witness stand. Barak: Raviv was part of a violent group. The fact he was suspected as a [GSS] collaborator - he had to, at all times, prove himself. Ledor: We have to close the file due to lack of public interest. An indictment [against Raviv] could seriously harm the GSS. We have to accept the GSS opinion on this. We close a lot of files in this manner, due to a lack of public interest. The harm is clear. This trial would look crooked. Holding it behind closed doors - won't help. Ben-Or: I am bothered by the criminal aspect of this. I am not sure that it won't end in a finding of not guilty. Then we will be in a strange situation. This person was working in a problematic situation. His involvement in Eyal was illegal. They didn't allow him to bring television cameras. A police agent who is commissioned to purchase drugs is not allowed to smoke them himself, etc. When you're in the trenches, though, it's difficult, and sometimes [an agent] will give himself permission to break a law. Maybe [he will argue] the defense of "necessity," maybe the justification; that he had to earn the trust of those around him. I don't want to make a decision about his criminal culpability. A.G.: We see this seriously. I don't dismiss the damage to the [GSS] organization. Even the revelation of his code name [Champagne] caused great damage. However, the additional damage is relatively insignificant, and we can make an effort to minimize it. It is possible to conduct proceedings behind closed doors. The case itself is very serious and there is a real public interest in filing criminal charges. This episode shocked television viewers and caused enormous damage, a virtual public storm. I just don't see how we may abstain invoking [criminal] proceedings. Ben-Ami: Another factor [that must be considered]: Hiring [new] agents, and handling of already existing agents. Sources demand that the Service ensure confidentiality. It would be a burden [if Raviv goes to trial] to handle present agents and hire new ones. A.G.: Sec.68(b): The whole trial will take place behind closed doors. Even the Shamgar Commission was also held behind closed doors. It's possible. Sasson: Let's assume that there is prima facie evidence. The television clip impressed me. Chezi [Kallo] words illustrate what kind of damage would be caused to the Service. I must assume that damage would be caused. We should balance cost effectiveness. It should be evaluated objectively. Arbel: From the perspective of the Attorney General and the State Attorney: It is impossible to evaluate the evidence when we know that what is shown there does not reflect the true picture. The man was an agent. We don't know what the true picture was at the time. We can't know the clear details of the situation until he gets up on the witness stand, and maybe he will say that he was operating according to the directions of the GSS. It is impossible to say whether there is or there is no evidence. This file [swearing-in] was staged. The lines were not clearly demarcated for Avishai Raviv. What would have happened if he would have prevented the murder? With all the difficulties - I am not sure that we can accomplish our goal. With a heavy heart, I would suggest to close the file [against Raviv]. A.G.: Section 4(a) - I don't see a problem with the evidence. I don't see a problem in terms of [his] criminal intent. It is impossible to close the case, without public exposure. Ledor: Sometime ago, we formulated a draft for closing this file. Arbel: It is simpler to reason the closing [of a file] due to a lack of evidence. Problem with the evidence: He might have wished to convince them he was one of them. I see a problem with this. And if there is a problem with the evidence - it is easier to reason [to the public]. I don't have to wait for the Court for [him] to say all this. My desire is to issue an indictment, but the risk is so big. We can explain this at the Supreme Court. It's possible to reason. Barak: In fact, during the succession Raviv served as an agent for us, there were many incidents. He could, of course, testify about the theme we employed him. The entire story of his service would be revealed, legal wise it would be difficult. Even after the ["Eyal" ceremony television] broadcast, they continued to employ him. Sasson: A lack of evidence and lack of public interest together constitute good reasons [for closing this file]. A.G.: I don't want to be involved in closing this file. I won't get into explaining. In any case, we have to send a letter to the Israel Broadcast Authority in which we express our bad feelings at the video clip [the swearing in ceremony of "Eyal"]. We have to write something against [TV reporter] Eitan Oren. I can't be involved in this. Were I to be the only one to decide, I would issue an indictment. But, as I said, I don't want to be involved in this. I would like to request that the issue be transferred over to the State Attorney's office, that the State Attorney's office make a decision on this, and issue a statement to the plaintiffs. Written by: Noam Solberg, Attorney.
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