Knesset C'tee postpones Ashkenazi farewell

Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee delays chief of general staff's appearance against backdrop of uncertainty surrounding Galant.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
January 30, 2011 22:05
1 minute read.
IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi

Ashkenazi 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Sunday postponed its farewell meeting with Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi against the backdrop of the continued investigation into chief of staff-designate Yoav Galant.

The delay was due to the possibility that his tenure may be temporarily extended depending on a forthcoming decision by Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein about whether to continue defending Galant against a Green Movement petition in the Supreme Court.

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Galant met with Weinstein at the attorney-general's Jerusalem office on Sunday to present his explanation and to clarify allegations made against him by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss last week. Galant reportedly told Weinstein that he acted in good faith when building his Moshav Amikam home and that he did not lie in a sworn affidavit about the affair.

Weinstein convened a discussion to formulate the state's position in the affair Sunday evening. A statement from the Justice Ministry said that "the issue is being carefully, thoroughly and seriously examined," adding that the discussions would continue Monday.

The state comptroller said Galant lied to Hadera Magistrate’s Court in a sworn affidavit by saying he had asked for permission to exceed his building rights by 40 square meters before building the additional floor space. In his examination of Galant’s land dealings, Lindenstrauss found that Galant had requested the building permit retroactively, after the structure was already standing.

Galant has been set to succeed Ashkenazi on February 14. Sources close to Galant said he would wait for Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s decision on the comptroller’s report, released late last week, before determining if he can serve in the post.

Galant denied the comptroller’s findings about improprieties in his land dealings, telling associates: “I didn’t lie, and I don’t intend to resign.” He did, however, acknowledge that mistakes were made in the land dealings in Moshav Amikam.


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