PM questioned by police in Harpaz Affair

Netanyahu was not questioned as a suspect, but as a witness about the feud between Ehud Barak and then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

July 2, 2014 00:20
1 minute read.
Binyamin Netanyahu

Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at the Knesset on Monday. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Police confirmed Tuesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been questioned in the Harpaz Affair by the head of the investigations unit and the head of the anti-fraud unit.

Police said Netanyahu was not questioned as a suspect, but as a witness, with most saying he was questioned about the feud between then-defense minister Ehud Barak and then-IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

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Before he was questioned, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein and State Attorney Shai Nitzan approved the questioning.

The prime minister was not asked about the involvement of his cabinet secretary and former IDF magistrate advocate-general Avichai Mandelblit in the affair.

The questioning took place about 10 days ago under a veil of secrecy, which was not pierced until late Tuesday night.

Earlier this week, Ashkenazi and former head IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu were both questioned again by police in questioning that has gone on for an extended period.

Ashkenazi’s wife, Ronit, his former aide Col. (res.) Erez Weiner, Barak and several of Barak’s top aides have also been questioned recently.

The Harpaz Affair refers to an alleged 2010 plot by Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, and possibly others, to illegally undermine Barak’s choice to succeed Ashkenazi as IDF chief.

Police said Ashkenazi is under suspicion of breach of public trust, obstruction of justice and giving classified information to unauthorized persons, while the charges against Benayahu may even be more serious.

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