Demanding that the Commission Hold Open Hearings During Testimonies of GSS Witnesses

HCJ 950/02, The Committee of the Victim's Families (October 2000) v. The Commission of Inquiry

A motion was filed to the Commission in 1/02 followed by petition submitted to the Supreme Court in 2/02. The petition asked the Court to overturn the Commission’s decision to hold in camera hearings during testimonies of GSS witnesses. Adalah argued that closing the hearings violates the rights of the victims' families as well as the public’s right to know. Adalah further argued that as the Commission is investigating the behavior of security and intelligence officers, which greatly damaged the public’s trust in state authorities, it is of fundamental importance that the Commission hold open hearings to fully disclose the testimony of GSS witnesses. Adalah emphasized that the findings of the Landau Commission (1987) as well as the State Comptroller’s Report (2000) both indicate that the GSS has a history of giving false testimonies and obscuring the truth of events in which they played a role. Moreover, according to the testimony of other intelligence officers, the GSS had direct and primary involvement with the Arab minority in Israel before and during the October 2000 demonstrations. Petition dismissed. The Court affirmed the Commission's decision to hold in camera hearings and to consider releasing portions of the GSS testimony at a later date, reasoning that this decision strikes a reasonable balance between the interests of state security and the public's right to know. The Commission held closed-door hearings to receive GSS testimonies and other GSS evidence on 31 January 2002 and 6 February 2002.

(H.C. 950/02, The Committee of the Victims’ Families (October 2000) v. The Commission of Inquiry, decision delivered 4 February 2002).