News Brief 1/3/2002, Tevet 19, 5762
Abu Kabir Operating Organ Warehouse
(IsraelNationalNews.com) State Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein ordered police to launch an investigation against Prof. Yehuda Hiss three months ago. Police have only gotten around to it this week.
Hiss is accused of a long list of charges from inappropriate behavior as a medical professional to criminal acts as the nation’s senior pathologist and director of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute.
The investigation in now underway, headed by Gila Bahar, of the national fraud unit. Included in the team of investigators are accountants and attorneys. Among the allegations facing the senior pathologist are illegal sale and dealings in organs and body parts, removing organs from deceased persons without consent, and misrepresenting organs in returned bodies.
The attorney general was compelled to order the investigation following a series of complaints against Hiss, leading to a Ministry of Health investigation that concluded criminal charges may be in order.
Accountants involved in the new investigation are reporting serious discrepancies in monetary records of the institute headed by Hiss aside from the mounting damaging evidence pertaining to violating the law pertaining to the organs of many deceased persons.
Allegations made against Hiss in some cases include his taking organs without consent, placing the cardboard center of toilet paper rolls and metallic rods in their place to fill the voids in the body and hide the theft of the organs.
A court-ordered search of the institute revealed large supplies of stored organs taken illegally from bodies. Over the past years, heads of the institute appear to have given thousands of organs for research without permission, while maintaining a ‘storehouse’ of organs at Abu Kabir.
Organs belonging to soldiers killed in various circumstances were found in the institute during a surprise search this week. There was no record of the organs being held in Abu Kabir, nor was their consent by the families of the soldiers.
The bodies of four soldiers were sent to the institute for routine examinations to determine the cause of death. Without the knowledge of the families, army or army rabbinate, internal organs were stolen and kept by Hiss and his staff while the bodies were released for burial.
The army has officially informed bereaved families that during the surprise inspection on Tuesday, organs were uncovered belonging to soldiers that died between 1994-1999. They promised the distraught families to escort the organs of each and every soldier to a proper burial, seeking to allay their anxieties and anger. Arrangements are in the works regarding the burial of the body parts.
Senior army commanders in the Personnel Branch, Rabbinate, Medical Corps and other divisions expressed shock and horror, calling the actions of the institute unprecedented.
After consulting with Chief Chaplain Brig.-Gen. Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, it was decided that in concert with the bereaved families, graves would be opened and the organs buried along with the remains of each soldier involved.