Associates of former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi hit back at
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday night, stating that Barak's latest
claims against Ashkenazi are a baseless and ridiculous attempt to
divert authorities from investigating the disappearance of tapes and
documents in Barak's office relevant to the Harpaz affair.
Earlier Sunday, Barak accused Ashkenazi of crimes related to receiving a bribe and assisting in giving a bribe.
Barak leveled the accusations in a letter he sent to
Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein.
In the letter, Barak also called on
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to immediately publish his report into the
Harpaz affair, which he claimed would reveal “harsh conclusions” regarding
“The draft report and the evidence it is based on
paints a difficult picture including a series of crimes,” the defense minister
Earlier on Sunday, Weinstein confirmed reports that his office is
considering opening a criminal investigation into the so-called Harpaz affair,
in light of new evidence recently obtained by law enforcement
Weinstein said that his office would need to review the
material and would then decide whether to open a formal criminal probe. Despite
the possibility that such an investigation will be launched, he told
Lindenstrauss on Sunday that he should complete his report into the affair as
soon as possible.
“Since a draft of the report has already been
distributed to the relevant parties, the public benefit from releasing the
report outweighs the potential harms to a future police investigation,”
The Harpaz affair is named for Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a
former Military Intelligence officer who allegedly forged a document detailing a
strategy of how to get former OC Southern Command Maj.- Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant
appointed chief of staff in place of Ashkenazi.
Barak wanted Galant for
the post, while Ashkenazi was believed to have wanted a fifth year in the job
The document was leaked in 2010 to Channel 2 and was later
discovered to have been forged. While Galant was tapped by the government as the
next chief of staff, he ultimately lost the appointment due to an unconnected
land affair involving his home in Moshav Amikam, near Zichron Ya’acov.
Friday, Military Advocate- General Brig.-Gen. Danny Efroni asked Lindenstrauss
to turn over all of the material collected during the state comptroller’s review
of the affair to see if there were any criminal implications from the
perspective of the IDF.Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.