Scandal clouds top cop appointment


The appointment of a new national chief of police has failed to bring calm to the scandal-prone force.

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Sunday that he was appointing the commander of the Police's Southern District, Yochanan Danino, as the next Commissioner General of the Police, instead of Dudi Cohen, who will retire in May 2011.

Mr Aharonovich's field of candidates for the top policing job was whittled down last month when the allegations of a sex scandal in the upper echelons of the force implicated two senior officers, one who had an intimate relationship with a professional adviser to the minister and another who is accused of having sexually assaulted her. The minister hoped that the announcement of the new chief would finally calm down the tension between the top cops, but his preferred candidate also carries some baggage.

Commander Danino, a lawyer who rose through the ranks of the Investigations Branch and, as head of the Serious Crimes Unit, led a series of corruption probes of senior politicians, is being accused of whitewashing the murder of two police informants four years ago.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved the appointment, but family members of the two informants are threatening to petition the Supreme Court. State Comptroller Micah Lindenstrauss, who is investigating the accusations against Cdr Danino, said this week that "the appointment could have waited until the end of our probe".

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