Uzi Arad 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said on Tuesday that he will examine
allegations that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his staff to conceal
information from the State Comptroller’s Office.
The announcement came in
a special meeting of the Knesset’s State Control Committee, convened to discuss
allegations made by former National Security Council head Uzi Arad.
also accused the Prime Minister’s Office of failing to implement the National
Security Act and of leaking information to the media.
Last May, Netanyahu
forced Arad to resign because he was revealed as the source of a serious
Netanyahu, furious at the leak in July 2010, directed the
Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to investigate and find the source. According
to a Channel 10 report, the leak was unintentional and came as a side comment
during a background briefing with a journalist.
Tuesday’s State Control
Committee meeting was also convened following an interview Arad gave to Yediot
earlier this month in which he accused the prime minister of asking
staff to conceal information during an audit by the State Comptroller’s Office.
In the interview, Arad also denied leaking information.
In the meeting,
the former NSC head accused Netanyahu of ordering his staff to lie to the state
comptroller, and said the prime minister’s legal adviser, Shulamit Barnea, had
passed on “only part of what he [Arad] said” to the state comptroller during the
Arad said Barnea had failed to transfer “professional and factual
data” to Lindenstrauss.
“According to my value system, it is not possible
that the truth is not told when answering a parliamentary or governmental
enquiry,” Arad said.
The response Barnea issued was intended to prevent
the state comptroller from knowing the truth, he added.
that she had always assisted the State Comptroller’s Office and that she
instructed her staff to do the same. Arad was not qualified to interpret the
law, she added.
Barnea said that the NSC’s response had been incorporated
into the draft response to the State Comptroller’s Report, but that some of
Arad’s answers were “not correct” and contradicted one another.
the meeting, MK Shlomo Molla (Kadima) said that it was “terrible that the prime
minister uses his legal adviser as a political tool.”
MK Uri Ariel
(National Union) said that there was a “media dramatization” to the whole issue.
His faction colleague MK Arye Eldad asked whether the “defense minister or the
prime minister could be stopped at the airport tomorrow and be stripped of his
security clearances,” referring to the way Arad’s security clearance was