(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has decided to close the criminal investigation against former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, Channel 2 reported on Wednesday.
Weinstein will make an official announcement on the closure of the case in the coming weeks, according to the report.
Police in the fall of 2014 recommended to Weinstein that he indict Ashkenazi, cabinet secretary Avichai Mandelblit, former IDF spokesman Brig.- Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu and three other former senior army officers as part of the Boaz Harpaz affair.
Those officers are Ashkenazi’s former chief of staff Col. (res.) Erez Viner, former Golani Reconnaissance Battalion commander Col. (res.) Gabi Siboni and Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz.
The Harpaz Affair was an alleged 2010 plot by Harpaz to illegally undermine then-defense minister Ehud Barak’s choice to succeed Ashkenazi as IDF chief of staff as part of a more general battle between Barak and Ashkenazi involving the two sides allegedly spying and spreading misinformation about the other.
Regarding the central allegation that Barak had brandished against Ashkenazi and the other former IDF officers, the police rejected any charge of a coup to overthrow the defense minister.
The police also rejected all allegations that Ashkenazi or the others had any connection to Harpaz’s alleged forgery of a document that started the investigation, even adding that the investigation lent further support to their claims of non-involvement and their belief that the document was genuine.
Furthermore, the police rejected allegations that Ashkenazi’s or the others’ alleged spying or efforts to undermine Barak rose to the level of criminality, while criticizing their actions generally as ethically problematic.
Still, the police had recommended charging Ashkenazi with two counts of breach of public trust and illegally revealing classified material.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.