Comptroller: Police Closing Cases Without Cause

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss charges that police and prosecutors are closing cases "for no good reason."

Gabe Kahn. ,

Micha Lindenstrauss
Micha Lindenstrauss
Flash 90

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss roundly criticized the Attorney General and Israel police for closing "a significant" portion of criminal inquiries and declining prosecution of cases "for no good reason."

"Police misused their authority to close cases due to a lack of public interest," Lindenstrauss said in the report.

The report criticized police for "closing cases without the proper authority," and charged officers had "recommended closures in violation of instructions by the attorney general" in many cases.

Lindenstrauss also criticized law enforcement bodies for failing to prosecute cases involving drug possession where quantities indicate "personal use" as stipulated in drug legislation passed in 1985.

The report also criticized the office of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein for failing to implement a "central, unified, updated policy" to guide decision makers in when to shut cases and when to prosecute.

Lindesntrauss charged the absence of such a policy - particularly in cases involving street violence, road rage, and violence in nightclubs - had negatively "influenced the quality of public life" in Israel.

Lindenstrauss noted 21% of the sample felony files provided to his office by law enforcement officials had been closed due to "lack of public interest" rather than a lack of sufficient evidence.

He also noted that 45% of the sample files had incoherent or poorly explained reasons for their closure.

Further, 18% of the files had been returned to police for "further investigation" only to be closed by police officials without a complete investigation being conducted.

Lindenstrauss recommended that this task must be given greater priority in view of the considerable work still required.