Galant finishes four-hour probe on alleged land seizure

Incoming chief of staff was interrogated by State Comptroller over suspicions that he illegally appropriated state land near his home.

By
January 23, 2011 19:32
1 minute read.
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant

Yoav Galant armed 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

Just weeks before he was scheduled to take over the reins of the IDF, Chief of General Staff-designate Maj.- Gen. Yoav Galant was questioned for almost four hours Sunday night by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss regarding allegations that he illegally seized land near his home in Moshav Amikam.

The state comptroller’s investigative team was led by Lindenstrauss, whose office said he would submit his findings from the ongoing investigation to Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein later in the week.

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During the interrogation, Galant was specifically asked about allegations that he seized 35 dunams, and about an alleged false affidavit that he had filed to the land committee.

Galant reportedly explained the circumstances behind the appropriation of the land and denied lying in any legal document.

Galant has been designated to replace Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on February 14, but there is a possibility that the appointment will be delayed by the investigation.

On Thursday, Galant’s attorneys submitted written responses to the state comptroller regarding suspicions that the top officer illegally seized state land and then allegedly lied about it in a subsequent legal battle with his neighbors.

After receiving Lindenstrauss’s report, Weinstein will need to decide if his office will continue to represent Galant in the Green Movement’s petition against his appointment to the High Court of Justice. The High Court will reconvene on February 1.

If Weinstein and the High Court decide to delay Galant’s appointment until they can complete a thorough investigation of the allegations, Defense Minister Ehud Barak will need to choose a temporary chief of staff to serve in the interim between Ashkenazi’s retirement and a final decision on the Galant case.


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