Police say no indication of evidence tampering during investigation into Yuval Castleman’s death

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

The Department for Internal Police Investigations (DIPI) ends its examination of alleged evidence tampering by police in the investigation of the killing of Yuval Castleman in December, who shot terrorists carrying out an attack in Jerusalem but was himself shot and killed by an off-duty IDF soldier.

An autopsy performed on Castleman’s body after it was exhumed found an M-16 bullet and pieces of shrapnel in his body, which contradicted the Israel Police’s position immediately after the incident that there were no bullets in Castleman’s body and that an autopsy was unnecessary.

This discrepancy led State Attorney Amit Eisman to open an examination into the conduct of the investigative team dealing with Castleman’s death.

DIPI said that it took testimony from those involved in the investigation of Castleman’s killing, including medical personnel and police officials, and Castleman’s family members.

“After examining the evidence and the sequence of events, it was found that the conduct of the investigation team did not give rise to a suspicion that any of the police officials sought to interfere with the investigation procedures,” DIPI states.

“The evidence shows that the Israel Police’s erroneous conclusion was based on the evidence that was placed before it at the time, which led it to believe honestly and in good faith that no bullets were found in the deceased’s body.”

The agency said that there was therefore “no doubt that there was no underlying intention to interfere with the investigation procedures.”

DIPI adds that the closing of its examination into this affair has no bearing on the military police’s investigation of Castleman’s death.

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