The police believe that enough evidence exists to warrant an indictment against a senior Mossad department head suspended for financial and managerial improprieties, the latest revelation in a case that has sent shock waves through Israel's ultra-secret spy agency.
The Justice Ministry indeed confirmed on Sunday that following a request by the Mossad to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, an investigation into the matter had begun.
"The case was transferred to the State Prosecutor and is currently being reviewed," the Justice Ministry said, but added "we cannot provide any details at this time regarding the nature of the allegations."
The investigation into the matter, conducted under a comprehensive court-issued gag order by the Israel Police's Unit of International Crime Investigations, concluded some two-and-a-half months ago.
On Sunday, Israel Hayom revealed that Mossad chief Tamir Pardo ordered the senior department commander, whose rank is the equivalent of an army general, to take a leave of absence.
The sensitive investigation, which as stated began two-and-a-half months ago, came to a head a few weeks ago when Pardo summoned the department commander to his office to inform him that he was relieved of his duties as a result of investigation's findings.
Pardo has also reported on the details of the case, as well as his decision to suspend the senior commander, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Even though the suspended commander has personally denied allegations of involvement in financial misconduct, under his role he was responsible for overseeing the events in question, and therefore he was relieved of his duties pending the completion of the investigation.
Mossad employees were informed that a final decision regarding the future of the department commander would be withheld until all avenues of the investigation were exhausted. Pardo, however, also told them that he has no intention of being lenient — including with the senior employees among them — regarding matters of organizational values and norms of conduct. As a result, the general assumption in the Mossad is that the senior commander will not be reinstated to his post following the investigation, which will force him to retire from the organization.
The case, which has until recently been kept within the spy agency's walls, has rocked the organization. The suspension of a department head is extremely rare, especially within the context of an investigation that has shown evidence of alleged misconduct. Moreover, the senior official in question is known to be very close to Pardo, who chose him last year to head a newly created department.