A gag order is to be lifted on Thursday on a convoluted sequence of events that has been at the heart of extensive police work, pertaining to senior officers suspected of misconduct with Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto.
Over a year ago, Pinto and his wife were questioned over suspicion of bribing a police officer in exchange for classified information.
According to suspicion, the rabbi offered Officer Ephraim Bracha money for information about an ongoing police investigation of acquaintances of his.
Bracha, then head of investigations and currently the head of the national unit for fraud investigation, informed his superiors, prompting police to summon Pinto and draft an indictment, but proceedings were discontinued as a result of new information.
Rabbi Pinto, one of Israel’s most influential rabbis, is a spiritual guide to many politicians and tycoons and the chair of many education and welfare organizations.
Pinto's fund has business not only in Israel, but also in the US and Argentina. Last year, it was reported that he was the victim of extortion in the US and is considered a protected witness of the FBI.
The involvement of a former Israeli minister is also suspected and is to be probed. Sources familiar with Pinto's businesses have stated in the past that: "If this can of worms is opened, many Israeli officials will be embarrassed by the findings."
On Wednesday, it was revealed that the affair is to be deliberated in the Knesset, by a subcommittee that supervises Israeli police. Senior police officers are expected to be summoned, and according to reports, Police Chief Yohanan Danino may also be summoned.
Police issued a statement on Wednesday, urging media to avoid from insinuating any criminal misconduct in relation to police officials, stressing that "vague publications maneuvering the limitation of gag orders produce unrealistic generalizations.
"The Israeli police consist of some 30,000 policemen, women and officers who are devoted, determined and loyal in serving the public.
"The Israeli Police would like to clarify to the public that no specific incident, as we have proven in the past, can tarnish an entire organization… It would be best if authorities could issue statements when the time comes, and avoid unnecessary rumor spreading."