Former Brig.- Gen. Ofek Buchris asked IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Gadi Eizenkot last week to retire from the army and conduct a civilian trial. The request was granted on Sunday the IDF reported.Upon his release from the army he thanked those who stood by his side and made his service meaningful. "Today I finish 28 years of faithful service to my people and my country," Buchris stated. "I am grateful for the immense part I had, for the meaningful and challenging service and for the opportunity to meet Israelis from all walks of life.""I thank my subordinates, those that were there with me in the battle field, as well as in training, on the borders in the cold, and in the heat, I have enjoyed your company.""You have all demonstrated true friendship, not only in the battle field, but in life."Buchris continued by thanking the officer he served under. He also spoke of the 24 soldiers who fell in the line of duty under his charge. His decision, he stated, was an attempt to set an example and take some moral responsibly. "I believe the excepted norm, from an officer of my rank, is to retire from service and to deal with the allegations in the only proper place, the court," Buchris said. Buchris stated that he is thankful his request was granted and he will now start "the fight of his life.""I am innocent and will defend my reputation and innocence." Buchris also stated that he hopes to return to service after the trial. Buchris was indicted earlier in July on three counts of rape and 13 counts of other sex crimes between July 2012 and January 2013.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.