The High Court of Justice on Monday ordered State Comptroller Micha
Lindenstrauss to turn over additional evidence in his possession to Col. Erez
Weiner, and also granted Weiner an additional week to review the new material
before having to file a response.
Weiner was an adviser to former IDF
chief of staff Lt.-Gen (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi and has been implicated by
Lindenstrauss as being involved in some manner in the “Harpaz
The affair initially was an investigation into a document
allegedly forged by Boaz Harpaz in an attempt to undermine Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav
Galant’s pursuit to replace Ashkenazi. Over time, it has expanded into an
embarrassing investigation into alleged infighting between Defense Minister Ehud
Barak, Ashkenazi and their aides – most notably Weiner.
As soon as
Lindenstrauss implicated Weiner in the affair and began to publicly discuss the
possibility of criminal charges, Weiner demanded to see all documents in the
comptroller’s possession in order to defend himself.
The sides have
sparred for months over whether Lindenstrauss has turned over all the relevant
documents to Weiner, culminating in today’s hearing in which the High Court
ordered the comptroller to turn over additional documents in the coming
The hearing was also notable since Attorney-General Yehuda
Weinstein refused to represent Lindenstrauss, who had to hire private counsel.
The two have publicly clashed with regard to the desirable direction for the
Harpaz affair, with Lindenstrauss trying to press Weinstein into filing criminal
The attorney-general pushed back a few days ago, accusing
the comptroller of misleading the public as to how he had managed the
The result of the hearing was not a complete victory for
either side, as Lindenstrauss insisted he had no further obligation to turn over
documents, whereas Weiner will have to be satisfied with receiving limited
additional evidence. Lindenstrauss will decide what additional evidence to turn
over with less input from Weiner than had been requested.
significant aspect of the ruling was that the comptroller had demanded a response from Weiner to his
report on the affair within two weeks.
Weiner won an additional week from
the High Court to review the new material his attorneys expect to
One instance where the court accepted Lindenstrauss’s arguments
was in affirming his right to refuse to provide Weiner with a complete list of
all persons who had testified before him as part of the
Although Weiner had requested the list, the court agreed
that the request was overly broad and accepted the argument that it was not
pertinent to Weiner’s defense.
The court also rejected a push by Weiner’s
attorneys to disqualify Lindenstrauss from further involvement in the matter on
the grounds that Weiner had received documents suggesting the comptroller had
decided to recommend various sanctions against him without receiving his
The court accepted Lindenstrauss’s argument that the cited
reference was a topographical error and that he would remain undecided on his
recommendations until receiving Weiner’s response. Separately, the court issued
a ban on the distribution of any sensitive national security-related materials
to Weiner’s attorneys in order to limit review of the material to his attorneys
In the overall legal scheme of things, the ruling allowed the High
Court and the comptroller to avoid a new major legal precedent, which could have
allowed any petitioner to demand much greater disclosure of evidence than has
been granted in the past. Such a precedent would have been seen by many as
undermining the comptroller’s ability to convince witnesses to speak freely,
since they would no longer be protected from public exposure of their testimony.
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