Court bans publicizing Harpaz Affair testimonies

Decision comes amid calls for police to open new investigation into allegations rising from publication of testimonies.

Harpaz 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Harpaz 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The High Court of Justice clamped a gag order on publication of testimonies related to the Harpaz Affair on Thursday amid calls for the police to open a new investigation into allegations rising from their publication.
The calls for a new investigation came after parts of Defense Minister Ehud Barak and former IDF chief of staff Lt-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi’s testimonies before the State Comptroller’s Office were leaked to the media.
In one report, Barak told the comptroller’s office that Ashkenazi threatened a “war” if the defense minister announced the identity of Ashkenazi’s successor six months before the end of his term.
“Do you hear what you are saying?” Barak is quoted as asking Ashkenazi. “You are subordinate to me and therefore there cannot be a war between us.”
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.
Barak wanted Galant for the post, while Ashkenazi was believed to have wanted a fifth year on the job for himself.
The document was leaked in 2010 to Channel 2 and was later discovered to have been forged.
While Galant was tapped by the government as the next chief of staff, he ultimately lost the appointment due to an unconnected land affair involving his home in Moshav Amikam, near Zichron Ya’acov.
Galant was quoted as calling Ashkenazi a “scoundrel” in his testimony. “I served four years under Ashkenazi and he fought against me the entire time,” Galant reportedly said.
The Ometz anti-corruption watchdog group sent a letter on Thursday to Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein demanding that a police investigation be launched into the affair.
State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is expected to publish the final report into the affair in the beginning of July.