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Red-Line Alert for Police Intelligence Gathering

Study finds that the requirement to reveal intelligence information to defense teams has severely undermined anti-crime work.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 8/20/2014, 11:54 AM

Police arrest (file)
Police arrest (file)
Flash 90

Police Commander Roni Ritman warns that the police will soon no longer be able to utilize sources to uncover those guilty of committing or planning underworld crimes. This, due to the legal obligation to disclose the information to defense lawyers.

In an academic paper he wrote several months ago, exposed for the first time today by the News-1 website, Ritman writes, "The human intelligence array utilized by the police has reached the red line."

Ritman is designated to take over command of Lahav 443, the national police unit charged with fighting corruption and organized crime.

He writes that if the relevant law is not changed, informants will no longer cooperate with the police, and these sources will be lost. "Murderers and criminals are able to walk free," Ritman states, "despite hard evidence against them."

Ritman submitted his paper as part of his studies in the National Security College in Haifa University. His conclusion is that the government must legislate a proposed bill ensuring that intelligence information need not be submitted to legal defense teams. At present, only under certain circumstances is such information not transferred.

At present, Ritman notes, "leading criminals and their lawyers who regularly defend them are able to amass much knowledge, giving them a broad picture of police intelligence, tools to expose the sources and thwart police work."