IDF Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris..
(photo credit: ELI DASSA)
New evidence reported late Wednesday and a battle of lie detector tests which seems to be going against Brig.- Gen. Ofek Buchris in the saga of rape allegations against him may be moving the IDF Legal Division closer to an indictment.
The new evidence, as reported by Channel 10, includes objective circumstantial evidence to confirm at least one of the five incidents of rape which Buchris is accused of. Until now, it has been thought that it was just the word of Buchris against his two accusers.
In addition, the lawyers for the two women complaining of unwanted sexual advances or rape by Buchris said on Tuesday night and Wednesday that the IDF Legal Division told them that lie detector tests confirmed their clients told the truth.
They added that the IDF lawyers, including top military prosecutor Col. Sharon Zigagi, told them that the lie detector tests also showed that Buchris was not telling the entire truth in denying the complaints against him.
The saga, with one former female subordinate of Buchris accusing him of five instances of rape, and the second female officer who once was under his command accusing him of unwanted sexual advances, has been running now for more than two weeks.
Though the two women’s names remain under gag order and the exact nature of their allegations is still not fully public, the allegations have been serious enough to derail Buchris’s career path. He lost his appointment to head up the Operational Division within the IDF Operations Directorate.
The revelations, though unconfirmed publicly from the IDF, seemed to indicate that momentum is swinging in favor of the accusers and against Buchris following an initial report Tuesday night on Channel 10 News indicating that the tests confirmed Buchris’s narrative.
The accusers’ lawyers said that the IDF approached them, departing from the standard blackout on information about the criminal investigation, because they viewed Channel 10’s initial report as misleading.
IDF Public Defender Col. Asher Halperin, who represents Buchris, slammed all of the media coverage, calling the latest revelations “selective, incomplete and biased” summaries of possible conversations between the accusers’ lawyers and the military.
He said the content of the actual conversations was likely far different and more even-handed, adding that he would not discuss specifics of the investigation since it is ongoing.
But another issue which may be turning the tide against Buchris is that the second accuser is, supposedly, a somewhat senior officer in a sensitive position who had wanted to avoid discussing her experiences with Buchris, and only came forward when the first accuser named her. Many say that such a reluctant accuser increases the credibility of her accusations.
While leaks from the IDF indicate a belief that the prosecution is moving toward indicting Buchris, the prosecution has made no such statement and a long-awaited confrontation with Buchris and his accusers arguing their stories against each other in the same room still has yet to take place.
From Buchris’s side, the response has been clear: not only denial of rape, but denial of having had any kind of sexual relations with his accusers.