Mivtan ordered GSS to clarify procedures

Updated: Jun 20


Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu

Monday, June 8, 2020, 16:51 Three years ago, Honenu filed a complaint with the “Mivtan”, the department of the Justice Ministry authorized to investigate complaints by GSS interrogatees, on behalf of a Jewish youth who was illegally summoned to speak to the GSS under the pretense of a summons to a police interrogation. The Mivtan has accepted the complaint and decided not to start legal or disciplinary proceedings against the GSS personnel, but the GSS must “clarify procedures and come to the correct conclusions.” During the summer of 2017, a Jewish youth was summoned by phone to a police station. After he consulted with Honenu, the youth requested a written summons and one week later he received an official police summons form which specified that it was a summons to an interrogation. However when he arrived at the station, he was taken to a room for a preliminary inquiry by the GSS, which had no connection to a police interrogation. He had been summoned to speak to the GSS and the purpose of the conversation was to recruit him as an informant. This constitutes a violation of the law. The High Court of Justice had already unequivocally prohibited the GSS from using police summons to bring citizens to talks. During the discussion the GSS representative attempted to recruit the youth and to convince him to regularly hold conversations between them. The youth did not cooperate. At no time during the preliminary inquiry was the youth informed that he was not obligated to cooperate with the inquiry, that he could leave, that nothing he said would be used against him and that if he left the inquiry no sanctions whatsoever would be taken against him according to the guidelines set by the High Court of Justice for the GSS with regards to citizens being questioned. After the talk with the GSS, Honenu filed complaints on behalf of the youth with both the Mivtan and the Public Complaints Officer in the Northern Police District where the incident took place. The youth did not receive any reply from either of them and subsequently, with an additional complainant who had a similar experience, filed a civil suit with the Tzfat Magistrates Court. Following negotiations with the attorney representing the GSS, a representative of the Northern District Attorney, Hadas Alkobi Malachi, the two sides agreed that the suit would be dropped, the youth would not be required to pay court fees and in return the GSS would pay the youth 6,500 NIS in compensation. The GSS did not file a statement of defense against the suit filed by the youth. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “The decision by the Mivtan that the GSS is not permitted to use a police summons form to summon an individual to a discussion corresponds with a ruling we recently received, according to which when the police are requested by the GSS to carry out an action on their behalf, they are not supposed to rely on the judgment of the GSS, but rather to use independent judgment. According to the letter of the law, it turns out that not in every instance is the GSS permitted to act under the pretense of a police action, and we welcome that decision.”

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