(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss was expected to present Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein Wednesday evening with his findings in an investigation over suspicions that Chief of General Staff-designate Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant illegally seized land near his home in Moshav Amikam.
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Lindenstrauss questioned Galant on Sunday for nearly four hours, specifically about allegations that he seized 35 dunams, and about an allegedly false affidavit that he 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.
Last 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.
The State Attorney’s Office has come under fire for representing Galant
in the ongoing legal proceedings before the High Court of Justice. A
week ago, Deputy State Attorney Shai Nitzan admitted that “there may
have been some mistakes in the handling of the Galant investigation.”
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.