The High Court of Justice rejected on Monday a petition by government watchdog
Ometz, who asked the court to order a police investigation into the so-called
The court said the petition was premature.
Harpaz Affair, named for Lt. Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, concerns the appointment
of former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant as chief of
Harpaz allegedly forged a document that detailed a strategy on how
to appoint Galant.
Galant was appointed to the post but in the end lost
the job over a land scandal he was involved in at his home in Moshav
Ometz filed the petition last month against defense minister Ehud
Barak, former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, his former aide Erez Weiner, and
“It is 18 months since the State of Israel was shaken by
this unprecedented affair,” Ometz said in the petition, noting that the
comptroller’s draft report into the matter had revealed “serious allegations of
criminal offenses including destruction of evidence, false testimony,
bribetaking, and exposure of classified material.”
In rejecting the
petition outright, the panel of justices – Esther Hayut, Isaac Amit and Zvi
Zilbertal – said the watchdog had turned to the court too soon.
said Ometz had based its petition on State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’s
draft report into the matter, which Lindenstrauss passed to Attorney General
Yehuda Weinstein in May.
The government watchdog wrote to Weinstein on
June 7, then filed the petition just four days later, the justice
Zilbertal said that Ometz should wait for a reasonable period to
allow the authorities to deal with the case before approaching the High Court
The court noted that it does not usually interfere with law
enforcement agencies regarding criminal investigations and prosecutions, except
in extraordinary cases.
In this case, Zilbertal said, Ometz should wait
until Weinstein makes a decision on the matter.
The court ordered Ometz
to pay NIS 15,000 in court costs.
Lindenstrauss is expected to publish
the final report into the Harpaz affair in the coming months.
comptroller initially intended to release the report before he left office on
July 3, but was delayed after Col. Erez Weiner, aide to former chief of staff
Gabi Ashkenazi, petitioned the High Court asking that Lindenstrauss turn over to
him all relevant material in the case.
Lindenstrauss’s draft report
sharply criticized Ashkenazi and Weiner, who allegedly obtained the forged
document from Harpaz.
Last month, the High Court imposed a temporary gag
order on testimony given to Lindenstrauss’s office regarding the Harpaz affair,
which will remain in place until after the report is published.
accused Weiner of deliberately stalling the Harpaz report’s publication, so that
Lindenstrauss would not be able to release it before his retirement.
month, however, the Knesset passed a law extending Lindenstrauss’s tenure by
three months, to allow him to complete the Harpaz probe.
Ministry opposed the legislation, calling it unconstitutional.