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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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