Barak asks Comptroller to probe Galant Document

Lindenstrauss says already began investigating the affair "discretely in order to study its character, scope and depth."

October 24, 2010 20:14
2 minute read.
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.

Micha Lindenstrauss 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )

Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday officially asked State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to investigate “all aspects” of the circumstances surrounding the allegedly forged “Galant document.”

In an announcement to the press, Lindenstrauss said afterwards that he would seriously consider the request. He also revealed that he began to look into the affair “discretely, a few weeks ago, in order to study its character, scope and depth.”

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Lindenstrauss’s spokesman, Shlomo Raz, said the State Comptroller’s Office is leaning towards conducting a comprehensive examination. He said that given the measures that have already been taken in this affair, it should be possible to begin an investigation quickly.

On Thursday, police announced they had recommended to the state prosecution that Lt.-Col.

Boaz Harpaz be indicted on charges of forging a document which purportedly contained a plan by a PR firm to promote the candidacy of Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant to succeed Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi as chief of General Staff by besmirching his rivals.

Its release, which appeared to show that Galant had an underhanded strategy to win the position, was apparently meant to hurt Galant, who was Barak’s choice for the post, but strongly opposed by Ashkenazi.

Police at first looked for other suspects who might have been involved in producing the document, which has come to be known as the Galant document.

Its existence was first revealed by Channel 2 in August.

On September 1, police announced that they suspected Harpaz of acting alone to remove suspicion from other senior army officials, whose names had been mentioned as suspects in the alleged forgery.

Meanwhile, on Friday evening, Channel 1’s news program presented new information that allegedly details the strong ties between Ashkenazi and Harpaz.

Political reporter Ayala Hasson said that during the period Ashkenazi was private business after temporarily leaving the army, he tried to help Harpaz, who was also a businessman.

He also reportedly intervened on Harpaz’s behalf several times while serving as deputy chief of General Staff, when Harpaz was involved in security exports and had a permit from the Ministry of Defense to sell arms.

According to Hasson, Harpaz also had a personal relationship with Ashkenazi and the chief-ofstaff’s wife, Ronit. Harpaz and Ronit Ashkenazi reportedly exchanged 150 SMS messages between them.

If the report turns out to be true, it would renew suspicion that Harpaz was acting as a friend or paying back Ashkenazi for favors granted in the past, and that perhaps Ashkenazi himself, or those close to him, were also involved in the Galant document.

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