(photo credit: Israel Police)
A soldier arrested on suspicion of secretly returning a stolen handgun to the
IDF Chief of General Staff’s office was ordered to remain in custody for four
days by a military court on Friday.
The soldier, who distributes
newspapers at the Ministry of Defense’s intelligence bureau, has denied the
suspicions against him, as well as ever entering the ministry’s 14th floor,
where Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi’s office is located. He
has offered to undergo a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
arrested earlier this week by the Military Police, one year after the pistol, a
gift from an American officer to Ashkenazi, went missing.
theft last year, an investigation led to the arrest of IDF soldier Louis
Maskota, who later confessed to stealing the firearm and selling it to a group
of Israeli Arabs.
Maskota’s “clients” became furious after finding out
that the weapon could not fire, leading Maskota to steal an M-16 from a soldier
and transferring it to them, he said during his trial.
Four months ago,
while Maskota was in custody, the missing gun mysteriously reappeared in
Ashkenazi’s office, in the same cupboard from which it was stolen.
affair caused much embarrassment within the IDF and Ministry of Defense due to
its exposure of apparent security lapses around Ashkenazi’s bureau.