Comptroller presents new evidence on Galant to A-G

Lindenstrauss does not reveal recommendations regarding chief of General Staff-designate; Weinstein to decide on further action.

January 26, 2011 19:53
2 minute read.
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss

311_Micha Lindenstrauss. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on Wednesday completed his examination of incoming Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s land affairs on Moshav Amikam and sent the material to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, a spokesman for the state comptroller announced.

Based on the findings, the attorney-general will decide whether or not to continue defending Galant and the Turkel Advisory Committee of senior appointments, which approved Galant’s posting, against a High Court of Justice petition by the Green Movement to cancel it.

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On January 16, Lindenstrauss informed Weinstein that he had discovered information regarding the land allegations against Galant that was previously unknown to the state. He said he needed time to investigate the material more closely and was not yet certain whether it could affect the case.

The petitioners charged that the Turkel Committee, whose task was to determine whether Galant was morally suited to be army chief, did not have all the facts and did not conduct a serious investigation of allegations that he had taken over land that did not belong to him and that in some cases, he had abused his office to do so.

The state presented its first response to the High Court on October 19, 2010, in which it defended Galant and the committee and asked the court to reject the Green Movement petition. The court held its first hearing on the matter on January 10. It was not satisfied with the state’s response on two matters raised in the petition, and asked the state for clarifications.

It instructed the state to submit its response to the questions by January 20.

While the state was working on its response, it received notification from Lindenstrauss about the new material.

The state then asked the court for permission to postpone its reply until February 1, to give Lindenstrauss time to complete his examination of the new material.

In the interim, the state comptroller received answers in writing to questions he put to Galant and his lawyer, Avigdor Klagsblad. On January 23, he met with the two men in his office for four hours.

Since then, he has been preparing his report.

Now that he has submitted it to the attorney-general, Weinstein has until Tuesday to assess the material and decide whether it contains information that will make it impossible for him to continue defending Galant.

Lindenstrauss said that in preparing the report, he had met with 30 people who were directly or indirectly connected to the land probe and had gathered thousands of documents.

He began the investigation after receiving a complaint by Government Services Minister Michael Eitan (Likud). Eitan was the only cabinet minister who voted against Galant’s appointment. Lindenstrauss has received other complaints as well.

Eitan charged that Galant had violated the law, behaved like a criminal, presented false information to the Turkel Committee, misused the IDF unit for protecting senior officers and received benefits from cronies. He submitted documents and witness testimony to back his complaint.

The state comptroller’s spokesman said Lindenstrauss sent Weinstein two documents – a 22-page report that included a detailed review of the issues under investigation and a seven-page summary of the larger document. Both were labeled as highly classified.

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