Former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on Thursday night sent a more
balanced draft of his final Harpaz Affair report to former IDF Chief of Staff
Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and some of their
The draft was only handed out to those involved in the
investigation, but a letter regarding the draft was publicly distributed and the
main parties involved gave partial reactions.
The reactions had to be
limited because of a gag order on publishing specific details before the final
report is sent out.
The first draft of the report had focused most of its
criticism on Ashkenazi and his former aid IDF Col. Erez Viner, with passing
criticism of Barak.
The new draft, issued after additional submissions
from all the involved parties has a new section with criticism of
Earlier in the week, news reports said Military Advocate Gen.
Danny Efroni was convinced that either the state attorney or his prosecutor
would file an indictment against Viner based on evidence of deceit and breach of
trust from telephone transcripts.
News reports had also mentioned that
earlier drafts of the Harpaz Report criticized Viner and Ashkenazi’s wife for
improper contacts with Harpaz and his activities.
Sources close to
Ashkenazi said that the new section on Barak addresses prior news reports
accusations that Barak or his aides had tapes of his conversations destroyed and
had ordered the compiling of damaging information about former IDF Spokesperson
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu.
Ashkenazi’s spokesman responded that from
a first reading of the report, “Ashkenazi was not involved in writing the
document, forging it or leaking it.”
The response also said that the
report shows that Ashkenazi never tried to have his term extended to a fifth
year or attempted any kind of putsch to control who would be his
Finally, the response indicated that the report established no
relevant connection between Ashkenazi and Harpaz.
Despite the greater
balance between criticism of Ashkenazi and Barak, overall the report was still
expected to weigh in against Ashkenazi the most.
The Harpaz Affair is
named for a document allegedly forged by Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz in possible
army infighting and attempts to discredit a candidate to succeed Ashkenazi as
chief of staff.
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