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MAG asks for state's files in Harpaz affair
By JPOST.COM STAFF
05/04/2012
Lindenstrauss provides Weinstein with new evidence regarding IDF Col. Erez Weiner's involvement in affair.
 
Military Advocate General (MAG), Brigadier General Danny Efroni, requested on Friday that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss turn over to him the state's investigative files in the Harpaz affair in order for him to review whether the case has any criminal implications from the perspective of the IDF.

Also on Friday, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein filed a motion to postpone Monday's scheduled Supreme Court hearing to compel the state to produce its evidence on the Harpaz affair to IDF Col. Erez Weiner.

In the last few days, Lindenstrauss provided Weinstein with new evidence regarding, among other things, Weiner's involvement in the affair. At the time of the affair, Weiner was a key aid to former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

The MAG's request to the state and the state's request to the Supreme Court follow reports that Weinstein is considering reopening the case against Weiner, and possibly others in the case.

Weiner has previously stated that he is unafraid of a criminal case and would take the opportunity to further clear his name of what he calls baseless rumors regarding his role in the affair.

The Harpaz Affair is named for Boaz Harpaz, a former military intelligence officer who allegedly forged a document detailing a strategy of how to get former OC Southern Command maj.-gen. (res.) Yoav Galant appointed chief of staff in place of Gabi Ashkenazi. Defense Minister Ehud Barak wanted Galant for the role, while Ashkenazi was believed to have wanted a fifth year in the job for himself.

The document was leaked in 2010 to Channel 2 and was later discovered to have been forged. While Galant was tapped by the government as the next chief of staff, he ultimately lost the appointment due to an unconnected land affair involving his home in Moshav Amikam.

The final report still is yet to be released to the public, but what has already been leaked from the draft raises serious questions regarding the interaction between the defense minister and the IDF chief of staff.

What is unclear though is what set off the war between Barak and Ashkenazi – one that has led Barak to accuse Ashkenazi of leading a coup with several of the officers who worked closely with him, and for attempting to undermine the government’s authority over the IDF.

By repeating the accusation that Ashkenazi was planning a coup, Barak seems to be trying to get the police to re-launch a criminal investigation into the affair, which it closed after discovering that Harpaz had forged the document. The police refrained from investigating the issue in depth – for example, trying to answer the question of who Harpaz was working for, and why he wrote the paper to begin with.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.
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