A-G: Comptroller misleading on Harpaz

Weinstein says that Lindenstrauss never raised criminal charges, "not explicitly, not as a hint, not in writing, not verbally."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 31, 2012 22:03
2 minute read.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370. (photo credit: Artiom Degel)

 
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Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein reportedly accused State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss of misleading the public with his recent statements about the "Harpaz document controversy," in an unprecedented head on clash between two of the leading law enforcement officials in the country, according to Channel Two news on Thursday.

Lindenstrauss has recently made public statements suggesting that Weinstein consider criminal charges in the affair despite an initial decision not to.

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In a letter to Lindenstrauss, Weinstein lashed out, stating that no allegations that could be considered criminal had been raised against any of the main players in the controversy.

No criminal allegations were raised in the contacts between his and Lindenstrauss' office, "not explicitly, not as a hint, not in writing and not verbally," said Weinstein's letter, according to the report.

Weinstein's comments were an across-the-board contradiction of Lindenstrauss' public comments as he noted that Lindenstrauss had never raised criminal charges at any level.

Weinstein's statement applied both to any private conversations he had with Lindenstrauss as well as any discussions between Lindenstrauss' staff and Weinstein's staff.

Finally, Weinstein noted that the state comptroller's official transfer of documents to his office was not made under the legal section by which recommendations for criminal charges are normally made, signifying that even Lindenstrauss had not pursued the matter as a criminal case in the standard fashion.

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The tone and public nature of the letter were extremely unusual as any internal disagreement between law enforcement officials is usually kept under wraps, especially at the top.

Last week, attorneys for the state comptroller and Col. Erez Weiner met to discuss the senior officer’s demand to receive all evidence collected in the comptroller’s investigation into the so-called Harpaz Affair.

Weiner, who served as the top assistant for former IDF chief of staff Lt.-Gen.(res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, came under sharp criticism in the draft report that Lindenstrauss issued to relevant parties in March.

Weiner immediately requested the material after receiving the draft version of the report but Lindenstrauss rejected his request. As a result, he petitioned the High Court of Justice.

In a strange sequence of events, Weinstein refused to represent Lindenstrauss and recommended that the State Comptroller’s Office supply the material to the officer. Lindenstrauss refused and has since hired former justice minister David Libai to represent him in the court proceedings.

Last week, the court set June 4 as the date it will start hearing arguments on the petition, which has led to some speculation that the final report on the Harpaz Affair will be written by the next comptroller, Joseph Shapira, who takes up the post in early July.

This is because if the court accepts Weiner’s petition it will have to give him time to review the new material so he can respond to the draft report.

If not, Weiner will still need time to submit his response.

Ashkenazi has also yet to file his response.

The Harpaz Affair is named for Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a former Military Intelligence officer who allegedly forged a document detailing a strategy of how to get former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant appointed chief of staff in place of Ashkenazi.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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