IDF may reopen probe into Harpaz affair

Alleged ‘Galant Document’ forger sent 1,500 messages to Ashkenazi’s wife.

September 5, 2011 03:03
2 minute read.
Boaz Harpaz

Harpaz 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

Calls mounted Sunday in the IDF to launch an internal investigation into new revelations regarding the mysterious Harpaz Affair and the nature of the relationship between former chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi’s wife and Boaz Harpaz, the alleged forger of what has become known as the “Galant Document.”

Sources close to former OC Southern Command Maj.- Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, whose appointment as chief of staff was overturned by the cabinet in February, said the revelations regarding the close relationship between Ronit Ashkenazi and Harpaz proved the need for the reopening of the police investigation into the affair.

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In 2010, Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a former intelligence officer, allegedly forged a document that detailed fictitious plans to damage the reputations of senior IDF officers.

The forged document was intended to falsely give the impression that Galant, who had been a senior candidate to become IDF chief of General Staff, had hired a PR firm to damage the reputations of other competitors for the post.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to appoint Galant as the next chief of staff but the decision was overturned due to allegations that he misappropriated land near his home in Moshav Amikam, near Zichron Ya’acov.

A recent Channel 1 report alleged that Ashkenazi’s wife, Ronit, acted as a mediator between Harpaz and others connected to the forgery of the so-called Galant Document.

The report also claimed that police had not handed over to the prosecution the contents of around 1,500 text messages that Harpaz exchanged with Ronit Ashkenazi.

On Sunday, the Justice Ministry dismissed as “baseless” claims that the police had failed to give the State Attorney’s Office the content of text messages between Harpaz and Ronit Ashkenazi.

In a statement, the Justice Ministry dismissed claims that the attorney-general and State Attorney’s Office had never actually requested the content of those text messages or that the police had not passed the messages to the prosecution.

According to the Justice Ministry, during the investigation into the affair, the police had obtained a warrant to seize communication data between Harpaz and others involved in the matter.

As police handed over communication data to the State Attorney’s Office, it was revealed that Harpaz had exchanged many text messages with Ronit Ashkenazi.

The prosecution asked the police to turn over the content of those text messages.

However, the police explained to the prosecution that the actual content of the text messages could not be obtained retroactively from the cellular company.

The Justice Ministry also noted that Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein had decided to transfer all the material gathered in the Harpaz case to the state comptroller, who is conducting a detailed review of the public and wider aspects of the case.

“In line with the law, if the state comptroller finds after that review that there is any suspicion of criminal offenses in any of the material he is examining, he will refer the matter to the attorney-general.”

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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