Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Case of Yossi Boker

Case of Yossi Boker
Assistant Commander, Police Investigative Department - Jerusalem, Israel
Head of the Central Investigative Unit - Shfela Police

Arrested on charges that he sexually assaulted his secretary.   If you have a photograph or any updated information on this case, please forward it to The Awareness Center.

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Table of Contents: 

  1. Police commander interrogated on charges of sexual harassment (08/11/2005)
  2. Senior police commander accused of sexual harassment (08/12/2005)
  3. Senior cops suspected of bribery (09/14/2005)
  4. Top cops probed for taking bribes (09/14/2005)
  5. Remand extended for cop in bribery case (09/15/2005)
  6. Museri charged with accepting bribes  (09/20/2005)
  7. Clean up the police (09/18/2005)
  8. Senior police officer questioned (09/20/2005) 
  9. Senior police officer sent on forced leave pending bribery probe (09/20/2005)
  10. All's not well at the central district's Central Unit (11/04/2005)


  1. Suspended CIU head treated after suicide attempt  (01/10/2006)
  2. Senior police officer attempts suicide (01/11/2006)

Police commander interrogated on charges of sexual harassment:  
Boker released after questioning, will not return to post in the meantime
Haaretz - August 11, 2005

Justice Ministry officials on Wednesday night interrogated Police Central District commander Yossi Boker on suspicion that he had sexually harassed his personal secretary. 

Boker was called into the Ministry of Justice's department for the investigation of officers after his secretary filed complaints weeks ago that he had spoken to her coarsely and had touched her inappropriately. 

He was released past midnight after several hours of questioning, but it was decided that in the meanwhile, he would not return to his post.


Senior police commander accused of sexual harassment
By Roni Singer-Heruti
Haaretz - August 12, 2005

Commander Yossi Boker, who heads the Police Central District's central investigations unit, was questioned under caution for several hours on Wednesday by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Unit, on suspicion of sexually harassing a secretary in his department. 

Following the interrogation, Boker was released, but forbidden to return to work for two weeks or to have any contact with the secretary. Boker denied the allegations against him. 

The secretary, who filed her complaint a few days ago, said that Boker had harassed her both verbally - by making crude sexual suggestions - and physically, by touching her. Boker was summoned for questioning Wednesday afternoon, and the session lasted until after midnight. 

Haaretz has learned that the police filed disciplinary charges against Boker 10 years for a similar offense. In that case, a policewoman who worked with him accused him of sexually harassment. Boker was convicted, fined and given a severe reprimand, but the conviction never hindered his upward progress through the police ranks. 

Boker was appointed to his current position less than a year ago. News of the new investigation was greeted with shock by colleagues.


Senior cops suspected of bribery
By Yaakov Katz
Jerusalem Post - September 14, 2005  

Two senior officers from the Central District were questioned on Tuesday by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department for allegedly receiving bribes from criminals. 

Asst.-Cmdr. Yossi Boker, head of the Central Investigative Unit, was taken to the hospital after he complained of not feeling well during his interrogation. 

The other officer, Meir Musseri, Boker's subordinate and head of investigations

Boker was suspended from his sensitive position and put on leave in August after an investigation was opened into allegations he had sexually harassed his secretary. Recently appointed head of the unit, Boker had previously served as chief of police in Lod, where he initiated the Green Island drug crackdown operation in which police arrested dozens of drug dealers and had dramatically lowered the level of crime in the area. 

A well-respected officer in the Central District, Musseri on Monday oversaw an undercover operation and the arrest of 19 drug dealers in Lod. Ironically, before the policemen went out to make the arrests, Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi and Cmdr. Beni Kaniyak, head of the Central District, praised Musseri for a job well done.


Top cops probed for taking bribes
By Roni Singer-Heruti
Haaretz - September 14, 2005 

Police officers at the Central District's central unit didn't know whether to laugh or cry yesterday when they found out that their commander, Yossi Boker, was being questioned for the second time in several weeks by internal affairs investigators in the Justice Ministry.
A few weeks ago Boker was suspected of sexually harassing his secretary. Now investigators suspect him of working with a Shfela district police commander, Meir Musari, and accepting bribes and favors from criminal elements in exchange for closing the cases against them. The bribery allegations relate to a period during which Boker and Musari worked together in the Lod police station. 

Early yesterday morning, the internal affairs investigators arrived at the office of Shfela district commander Yifrah Duchovny and informed him they planned to question Musari - who made the headlines this week as the officer responsible for a large, successful operation that captured a Lod crime ring suspected of dealing drugs. Musari was called into Duchovny's office, where the investigators told him he was under arrest and took him in for questioning. The interrogation lasted several hours. 

Other investigators arrived at Boker's house yesterday morning. Boker has been at home for the last few weeks because he was suspended in connection with the sexual harassment investigation. Boker too was taken in for questioning, but a short time before the interrogation began in Rishon Letzion, Boker became ill - apparently from heart pains - and was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital for treatment. 

Several police sources said the investigation appears to relate to events that allegedly took place several years ago, while Boker was in charge of the Lod police station and Musari was the station's intelligence chief. 

The sources said Musari collaborated with members of a Lod family with a criminal reputation and received favors from them. In one instance, the sources said, one of the family members allegedly hit someone with a car and killed him. Musari and Boker came to the scene, and when they realized who was involved, they apparently made sure the case was not pursued, the sources said. In return, Musari and Boker are suspected of having received favors - in this case, apparently a sailing trip. 

The internal affairs investigators are said to also be looking into the suspects' involvement in several other cases of alleged bribery. Police officers in the Central District expressed shock when they found out yesterday morning that the two admired senior officers were being questioned. Police issued a statement on the investigation early yesterday in the wake of the circulating rumors, and in the afternoon Duchovny convened Shfela district commanders and discussed the probe.

It was only Monday that the Central District celebrated Musari's success in breaking the crime ring in Lod. Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra and the police chief participated in a festive ceremony and praised Musari as the head of the team that broke the case.


Remand extended for cop in bribery case
Yaakov Katz 
Jerusalem post - September 15, 2004

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Wednesday extended the remand of Ch.-Supt. Meir Musseri, suspected of receiving bribes from underworld elements, by an additional five days. 

Musseri was arrested on Tuesday by the Justice Ministry's Internal Affairs Department on suspicions that, as head of the Shfela Police's Central Investigative Unit, he received various benefits from criminal elements and assisted in closing open cases against them. 

Musseri's commander, Asst.-Cmdr. Yossi Boker head of the Central District's Central Investigative Unit, was also detained for questioning on Tuesday but was evacuated to hospital after he complained of not feeling well during his interrogation. Internal Affairs reportedly intends to question dozens of cops from the Central District as part of their investigation. 

Judge Haim Liran wrote in his decision to extend Musseri's remand that, if released, the suspect might try to obstruct the investigation. Lod resident Sami Jusas, arrested on Wednesday for allegedly bribing the senior officers, was released to five days of house arrest.


Museri charged with accepting bribes
Jerusalem Post - September 20, 2005

Police Chief Superintendent Meir Museri, commander of the Police Investigative Department, was arrested and charged Tuesday morning for allegedly accepting bribes from criminals.

The Police Investigative Department (PID) recommended that Museri be removed from the police force.

Also arrested Tuesday was Asst.-Cmdr. Yossi Boker. Boker, who was interrogated a few weeks ago on charges of sexual harassment, was taken in for questioning Tuesday morning after an additional complaint of harassment was received, Israel Radio reported.

Once Boker was in custody, investigators used the opportunity to question him on charges of bribery.

Both Boker and Moseri were suspected of closing cases for members of crime families.


Clean up the police
Jerusalem Post - September 18, 2005 


Police organizations the world over like to believe that that their members are incorruptible "untouchables," who cannot be tempted by criminal elements with ample resources to buy immunity from law enforcement. But absolute incorruptibility exists only in fiction. Real-life policemen are in contact with lawless elements and, in close proximity, dirt can rub off. 

On occasion in years past isolated cases of cops-on- the-take have surfaced in our bailiwick as well, but they seemed few and far between. Lately, however, two big cases have burst on our scene almost simultaneously. 

The first involves the Perinian brothers of Moshav Hodaya, described by the prosecution as running a veritable organized crime empire. Their case includes all the hallmarks of a cinematic thriller. They allegedly hired a policeman to carry out contract hits for them and then tried to assassinate him. The prosecution, for reasons which themselves warrant investigation, failed to strike a deal for the "bad apple" to turn state's evidence. After various convolutions of the plot, the officer-terminator fled abroad, but was murdered in Mexico. 

The brothers reportedly continued their operations while hobnobbing with prominent police higher-ups. Though social contacts with known criminals are strictly taboo for policemen, the police's own Internal Investigations Section seems to have let those senior officers off the hook. 

In the second case, Ch.-Supt. Meir Musseri and Asst.- Cmdr. Yossi Boker, commanders respectively of the central units of the Coastal Plain and Central Districts, are both under investigation for taking bribes to halt pursuit of underworld kingpins. 

The very fact that policemen can turn off the heat immediately makes greasing their palms an attractive option for those attempting to escape justice. This has spawned recommendations to take away file-closing authority from the local precinct level. But that's not good enough. Attempts to buy police "cooperation" can also be made at the point in which files are opened. 

Corruption is a constant potential companion to police work. It has little to do with how much policemen earn, as some here currently suggest. Lawbreakers will always earn more than lawmen. At one time in New York, officers were categorized as herbivores or carnivores. The former enjoyed forbidden perks from shopkeepers, the latter were accomplices to serious crime. 

Despite all this, it must be stressed that Israel's police - as compared to its counterparts abroad - is relatively clean. Yet this fact cannot suffice for comfort. The recent incidents are warning signals that must not be ignored. Moreover, the confluence of cases and their attendant bad publicity trigger dynamics of their own, undermining public trust in the police. 

The tarnishing of the police's image hampers its ability to function adequately, which in turn further boosts crime. This escalating spiral can lead to far- ranging and unanticipated social consequences. The challenge is first and foremost one for the internal security minister and the police inspector-general. It is in their power to nip in the bud this dangerous phenomenon, which hitherto has been largely swept under the rug and belittled, if not altogether denied. 

A systematic internal supervisory structure can be created to address this problem and prevent the development of improper police norms. 

In addition, the methods whereby officers are appointed to top jobs are ripe for reform. Today promotions are in the hands of small departmental cliques, hardly free from outside influence. A more transparent process, possibly involving open tenders within the force, along with requirements for proven ethical standards and spotless past records might keep shadier personnel away from key positions. 

The establishment of an outside control framework like New York's famed Police Foundation, to keep tabs on the actual effectiveness of police work as well as on its ethics, would go far towards inculcating in officers the realization that fighting corruption is more than a slogan. It is a basic value without which the police cannot function. 

Last but not least, there must be no leniency towards cops who have sinned just a little. There should be zero tolerance for minor transgressions, indeed for any infraction, even if these may not generate actual indictments. When all our officers understand that they cannot zigzag on the shady edges of the law with impunity, we will all sleep better at night. 


Senior police officer questioned 
By Yaakov Katz
Jerusalem Post - September 20, 2005

Asst.-Cmdr. Yossi Boker was questioned Monday by the Police Investigative Department in the Justice Ministry on suspicion of taking bribes from criminal elements in Lod. 

Boker, head of the Central District's Central Investigative Unit, was released after five hours of questioning, Israel Radio reported. He was summoned for continued questioning, possibly as soon as Tuesday. 

The recently appointed head of the CIU had previously served as chief of police in Lod, where he initiated the Green Island drug crackdown operation in which police arrested dozens of local drug lords and dramatically lowered the level of crime in the area.


Senior police officer sent on forced leave pending probe
By Roni Singer-Heruti and Jonathan Lis
Haaretz - September 20, 2005

Superintendent Meir Museri, intelligence officer for the Shfela Police District, was sent on a forced vacation from the yesterday because of an investigation concerning him being conducted by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department (PID). Museri was released on bail yesterday after being held following questioning by the investigations unit. 

Museri and Commander Yossi Boker, commander of the Police Central District, were questioned regarding allegations they accepted bribes in exchange for "taking care" of certain investigations, and in some cases closing them. 

The PID is investigating 25 alleged offenses by the two men, including suspicions that the two acted to close the investigation of Sami Ja'asus, a Lod resident who was suspected of manslaughter. Ja'asus was suspected of running over and killing a woman while driving his car. The PID is checking whether the two officers received bribes or other benefits from Ja'asus in exchange for closing the case. 

Since Museri's arrest, there have been numerous rumors among the police about the two officers' alleged misconduct, including the possibility that they may have tried to tamper with evidence or even have move the dead woman's body. 

Police Major General Gabi Gal, the head of service's Human Resources Department, yesterday ordered the forced leave for Museri and his brother, Assaf Museri, who was questioned by the police yesterday on suspicion of having prevented the raid of a gambling establishment after discovering that his mother was present at the scene.


All's not well at the central district's Central Unit  
By Roni Singer - Heruti
 Haaretz - November 4, 2005 

Members of the Central Unit's Investigation Department in the central district have been on a staff trip in the south for the past two days. Such trips are common for the police, since they offer an opportunity to raise morale and strengthen the bond between the unit's commanders and its members. However, the unit's morale is said to be low, and it has not had a commander for the past several months. 

Since an August probe of the unit's head, Commander Yossi Boker, on suspicions of sexual harassment, and a subsequent bribery probe of Boker in September, the unit has been run by his deputy, Chief Superintendent Danny Balorian. 

The possible move of the commander of the central district, Major General Benny Kaniak, to the post of deputy police commissioner has also contributed to the sense of uncertainty in the Central Unit. As long as a new district commander has not been appointed, sources in the unit say, it would not be appropriate to make decisions about other positions. 

Highlighting woebegone state
As in other districts, the central district's Central Unit deals with the worst crimes and organized crime in its area. The unit achieved several highly publicized successes under its former commander, Brigadier General Menashe Arbiv, now commander of the Sharon region, including the capture of the man who killed police officer Aviv Karado in Lod in an operation that involved field work in Jordan, and the arrest of several "soldiers" of reputed underworld leader Itzhak Abergil. 

But past successes only highlight the unit's present woebegone state. Police headquarters decided to transfer the Abergil case from the unit six months ago, and then it also moved a case involving the reputed crime Abutbul family in Netanya to the International Relations Unit. 

Sources in the latter unit say that contrary to Central Unit statements that the Abutbul case was "close to being cracked," the material was insignificant and certainly not enough to issue arrests. 

Mutual recriminations
Relations between the central district's Central Unit and its Tel Aviv counterpart have never been particularly warm. However, last year's arrest of the alleged crime kingpins the Ohana brothers and the success of the central district's Central Unit to obtain a key witness, Yaron Sanker, which Tel Aviv's Central Unit had failed to accomplish, led to a series of ongoing mutual recriminations between the two. 

The central district's Central Unit sources say investigations are going nowhere, and they come to the office to "pass another day." The central district's Central Unit spokesman, Chief Superintendent Yigal Hadad, however, says it is working on a number of big cases that he cannot currently discuss. He adds that as long as the investigation against Boker is proceeding, a decision as to whether to appoint his replacement will not be made. 

However, unit sources say that work is proceeding on Jowarish crime family case as well as a few bogged-down investigations, such as the murder of three-year-old Leah Katayev and her cousin, who were apparently accidentally shot while riding in a car in Ramle. Regardless, no arrests in this case are imminent. 

The unit's gloom is further deepened by a lawsuit filed by Sanker against the unit for illegally extracting testimony from him. During the trial, the judges harshly criticized the unit's investigators. 

Proud of the collar
The unit is reportedly proud of it success in nabbing an alleged central figure in the Hariri-Ayiat crime organization, businessman Daniel Molkanadov, who is suspected of having sought to take out a contract on the life of journalist Moshe Danon. 

However, the central district's State Prosecutor's Office recently informed Molkanadov that the case against him has been closed. 

The questioning of unit members by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department (PID) has created a split between members of the unit, with those who served in the unit before he took command opposed to him. 

Next week's expected return of the unit's secretary who had filed the harassment charges against Boker, is apparently causing some tension, although some unit sources say that while it may not be "paradise," things are "not so bad." 

"True, there are things that do not contribute to morale," a source says. "But the unit's spirit is stronger than anything else."

Suspended CIU head treated after suicide attempt
Jerusalem Post - Jan. 10, 2006

Asst.-Cmdr. Yossi Boker, suspended head of the central district's Central Investigative Unit (CIU) was evacuated to Assaf Harofe hospital following an attempted suicide on Tuesday.

He was released from the hospital after being treated for swallowing a large amount of pills.

He was forced to take a leave of absence from his top post recently after the Police Investigations Unit launched a probe against him in September for allegedly taking bribes and for sexual harassment.


Senior police officer attempts suicide
By Yaakov Katz 

Asst.-Cmdr. Yossi Boker, the suspended head of the Central District's Central Investigative Unit, was taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin Tuesday morning after he apparently tried to commit suicide. 

Boker was found by his wife at home after he reportedly swallowed a large number of pills. He was treated at the hospital and was later released. 

Boker was forced to take a leave of absence from his post in August after he came under investigation by the Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Department on suspicions he sexually assaulted his secretary.

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