Channel 2 alters Galant document to protect source

Station appeals subpoena, receives support from Journalists' Association.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 12, 2010 10:28
2 minute read.
Yoav Galant

Galant 298. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Channel 2 News erased some text from the controversial “Galant document,” the media outlet said on Thursday, in a bid to protect the identity of the confidential source who made the paper available.

In light of the changes made to the document by Channel 2, police hopes that a forensic analysis of the paper could lead to a breakthrough in the investigation appear to be fading, and detectives may need to turn to questioning a large number of people thought to be connected with the investigation instead.

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The document claims to show how the Arad Communications public relations firm drew up a plan to damage the reputations of senior IDF officers as part of a strategy to promote the candidacy of OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant for IDF chief of General Staff. The document, which was shown on Channel 2 news last Friday evening, has caused a firestorm since the broadcast.

Earlier this week, the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court ordered Channel 2 to hand the document over to police. Channel 2 has resisted the decision, saying that handing the document over would expose its confidential source. It submitted an appeal to the Petah Tikva District Court on Wednesday, which was heard on Thursday.

A final decision by the court is expected Wednesday. Channel 2’s attorney, Barak Bar-Shalom, expressed optimism that the court would turn down the police’s request.

“The court admitted that the police could receive the information they want using alternative means and that they have not yet exhausted those means, so they turned to the court too early,” Bar-Shalom said. “Despite the wide public interest, we’re not talking about a serious crime, just a forged document,” he added.

“Getting the document won’t solve a murder investigation or prevent a danger to national security.”

The Journalists Association in Jerusalem expressed support for Channel 2, saying giving the document to the police would lead to revealing its source and destroy a fundamental principle of freedom of the press.

“A journalist should go to jail rather than reveal a source,” the organization’s director-general, Yossi Bar-Moha, said. “This is a fundamental issue of utmost importance, that should reach the High Court.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.


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