'Ashkenazi saw Galant Document'

Police slams media speculation on IDF chief's investigation.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
August 17, 2010 12:33
2 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi

ashkenazi GOOD 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

 
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IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Gabi Ashkenazi testified to the police in the "Galant Document" case on Tuesday.

Ashkenazi reportedly told investigators that his office received the document a few weeks ago, and he gave it to the legal arm of the IDF, so they can check if a crime has been committed.

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The chief military prosecutor will also be called to testify with the police.

Israel Radio also reported that a number of Major Generals said they received the document when Ashkenazi did.
Police released a statement on Tuesday afternoon criticizing the Israel Radio report and warning that media speculation was having a harmful effect on the investigation.

"We would like to clarify at this stage that the investigation is being managed under a total media blackout in order to safeguard the interests of the investigation. The investigation is at its height and has not yet ended," police said.

"Therefore, the various many reports accompanying the investigation...could disrupt and harm the people whose names are being raised in the reports without any basis," the statement added.

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Police urged the media to "wait for the end of the investigation, which is based on facts and evidence. We are seeking to complete the investigation as quickly as possible, while maintaining the appropriate levels of professionalism and sensitivity that are needed."


On Monday night, Channel 1 reported that the "Galant Document" is a forgery. The document purports to show that Eyal Communications, a public relations firm, drew up plans to damage the reputations of senior IDF officers in a bid to promote OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant’s candidacy to be the next chief of General Staff.

The IDF General Staff convened on Monday in its entirety, for the first time since the Israel Police opened an investigation to determine whether the Galant Document is genuine or a forgery and amid suspicions that senior officers could be involved.

The meeting was reportedly tense but ended without incident. Relations between several members of the General Staff, particularly the candidates for the next chief of General Staff – including Galant, OC Northern Command Maj.- Gen. Gadi Eizenkot and Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz – are reported to be difficult since the affair erupted a week and a half ago.

Ahead of the meeting, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu, whose name has been connected to the affair, sent a letter on Sunday to all of the General Staff members in which he denied he was involved.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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