State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg may conduct a probe into the government's operation of General Security Service agent Avishai Raviv, after coming under pressure yesterday from the members of the Knesset State Audit Committee. Earlier, former MK Chanan Porat startled those in attendance at Monday's meeting when he revealed new information on the relationship between the General Security Service, Avishai Raviv, and Yigal Amir.
Goldberg said, however, that he could not understand the haste of the MKs in wanting to deal with the subject before the verdict in the Raviv trial. Raviv is on trial in Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for failing to prevent the murder of Yitzhak Rabin.
MK Michael Eitan (Likud) said he didn't see the connection to the ongoing trial and demanded that the role of the State Attorney's Office and its involvement with the GSS be investigated. Eitan said there is the impression that the State Attorney's Office and the GSS have a relationship to cover-ups and false reports. He said the High Court of Justice had proved that the security claim for failing to reveal information is archaic.
Former MK Chanan Porat said Raviv defamed the settlers worse than anyone else except for Yigal Amir. "There is the feeling that there is no supervision over the GSS and state attorney's office," he said.
According to Porat, one of the three teenagers indicted by Att.-Gen. Elyakim Rubenstein last week (for participating in the fake swearing-in ceremony of the GSS-created Eyal organization) informed Porat that he was standing next to Avishai Raviv near the scene of the Rabin assassination on November 4, 1995.
According to the teenager, as soon as the shots rang out, Raviv yelled, "It's Yigal Amir!" At a later date, GSS agents approached the youngster and warned him "not to dare open his mouth against Raviv in court."
Yisrael Medad of Israel's Media Watch (IMW) was at the session of the State Audit Committee, and described the reaction of those present to Porat's revelation:
"When the committee members heard Porat's account, they were shocked. State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg was also in a state of total disbelief! It was obvious to me that Goldberg must still overcome a major psychological barrier before he realizes that we have a problem here in Israel.
"I had to remind him that in the United States, we had a President who dispatched criminals in the middle of the night in an extended Watergate operation, and that the U.S. went through the Iran-Contra Affair during the 1980's.
"Those scandals made it clear that even in the world's greatest democracy, governments and secret service agencies could operate rogue operations in the absence of proper public supervision." IMW has been demanding the indictment of Israel Broadcast Authority cameraman Eitan Oren for his role in planning the Eyal swearing-in ceremony.
Arutz7 correspondent Haggai Seri reported that Goldberg said at the end of the gathering that though he "heard some very grave information" there, he has not yet decided whether or not to conduct an independent investigation of the Raviv affair.
Goldberg also expressed his concern over the absence of State Prosecutor Edna Arbel and GSS Chief Ami Ayalon at the session. Both were specifically invited to come, since the meeting's agenda dealt with the operational norms guiding the State Attorney's Office and the GSS.
Arbel sent a message apologizing for her absence, explaining that the "invitation arrived just at the end of last week," and that she had "previous commitments."
Ayalon similarly sent chairman MK Uzi Landau a message explaining that, as head of the GSS, he [Ayalon] requires the approval of Prime Minister Barak to attend such a meeting, and that Barak could not issue his approval, since he is in the U.S. at present.