Fmr Police Commissioner: 'I conducted no campaign against PM'

'I've paid tens of times in my life for making unpopular decisions and I wasn't deterred,' said Roni Alshich at Jerusalem conference.

Mordechai Sones,

Alshich
Alshich
Yisrael Bardugo

Former police commissioner Roni Alshich took part in the Jerusalem conference of the Basheva newspaper this afternoon.

First Alshich was asked about leaving the security establishment: "Being a civilian is pure pleasure. There's more time to read and write, and maybe there is a book in the hopper. If there's something that frustrated me throughout my entire term and still frustrates me: Everywhere I went I was asked about the Prime Minister's investigations. I'd want to talk about other things."

"I have a lot of satisfaction after all these years because the police opened their arms and accepted my quirks and flowed with me in all kinds of changes we made," he said.

"I wouldn't have done anything differently with regard to Netanyahu's investigations because the public doesn't understand that investigating a public figure is done only at the instruction of the Attorney General. I'm neither a psychologist nor an analyst, and I don't know if I'd continue in my position as commissioner for another year were it not for the Prime Minister's investigations. I always put the subject's best interest before my eyes and not my personal interest.

"I'll be more precise in what I said about the Prime Minister: The police have to examine and investigate the truth, and if at the end it's determined that what the police see as true isn't true, it undermines the image of the police. The second part of police work is related to the laws of evidence and here there are various interpretations. If the police checked the facts and the State Prosecutor's Office decided one way or the other, it had nothing to do with the police and its image.

"I don't judge anyone and it's not my job to judge the Prime Minister. The police produce summaries and give them to the Justice Ministry and in summations that of course go through the Attorney General. The police published a very clear version of what it sees as the conclusions of this investigation. In my opinion, every person has a presumption of innocence.

"I didn't conduct a campaign against Netanyahu, but I supported my subordinates and in my opinion this is my job. They say I have thick skin and I agree but I'm not sure my former clerks had this ability so I had to do what I did. In the end my job is to get to the truth, to be responsible for the work under my responsibility and that's it."

He also stressed that "In interviews I didn't utter a word about the Prime Minister's investigation. The only way was through official press releases. I didn't say a single word about the Prime Minister's investigation in the Ilana Dayan interview, either.

"I've paid tens of times in my life for making unpopular decisions and I wasn't deterred. I'll continue to do so in the future. I don't want to go into a discussion about who investigated the Prime Minister and why. On the day the public will have to know, everything will be visible. Taking a sentence said among several arguments in a discussion that dealt with many things and turning it into a media issue isn't right.

"I don't think in this case it even created false impressions. It's not my job to decide whether the Prime Minister should resign after submitting police recommendations or after an indictment. If the indictment amounts to less serious charges than the police recommendations, I won't be frustrated unless it's determined that the facts we brought in the recommendations are incorrect."

"There isn't a single line in all these decisions that wasn't made in full coordination with the Attorney General, including the timing and the statements that were approved word for word by the Attorney General. All investigations were completed on Thursday. The were approved on Friday and the recommendations were published on Sunday. It has nothing to do with my retirement.

"As for the investigation of Gal Hirsch, I can say only one thing: This is an ongoing investigation, and I can't say a single thing about it. I say with certainty that the police aren't delaying the investigation for any reason. But I cannot say a single word about an ongoing investigation."

As for Chico Edri, he said, "Until this moment, I haven't read what's called 'the Alshich Document'. The police isn't a private body belonging to anyone. The police must make all kinds of reports according to rules and regulations. The police must report to the minister on the employment adjustment of their employees, having nothing to do with the appointment of chiefs of staff, etc. The commissioner isn't supposed to give a report for the appointment of chiefs of staff and the Goldberg Committee and I didn't express my opinion on this matter. I insisted on not expressing my opinion on this matter."

"The only questions I answered are factual questions, regardless of who deserves the position of police commissioner. Since I wasn't sitting in committee deliberations, I was just called to testify, and I'm a media consumer like everyone else, so from the published material it appears that they're not suitable for the position of police commissioner. If Yoram Halevi wasn't worthy of the job, I would have sent him home. I brought him to Jerusalem and gave him full backing. But I don't say who'll be the commissioner and who won't.

"After he's appointed commissioner of the Israel Police I'll agree to speak and say what I think about the suitability of Yoram Halevy as police commissioner. Why do they throw it in my door? Did I dismiss him? The Israel Police sent the minister all the necessary information regarding the professional suitability of its employees, and it's possible there's someone suitable to be a commander and not suitable to be a police commissioner."

Alsheikh casts all responsibility on Minister Gilad Erdan: "The minister knows all he needs to know about the candidates for months in advance. The police are the ones who report and the document is all the police are supposed to report. My testimony is what I took care of and I had to testify. I don't decide who'll be candidate for commissioner and who'll be commissioner..."


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