A panel of five judges, headed by Supreme Court President Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, is expected to publish on Wednesday its decision on the release date for the Winograd Committee protocols of testimonies by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, as well as the committee members. The committee was set up after the Second Lebanon War to examine the performance of the IDF and the OC Home front Command during the fighting. The committee wanted to release its weekly protocols only after presenting its interim report, but MK Zehava Gal-On (Meretz), petitioned the High Court of Justice, demanding the transcripts of testimonies given to the committee be released immediately. Gal-On's attorney, Dafna Holz-Lechner, said that "making the testimonies public is a matter of national importance."
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Winograd Committee members have repeatedly rejected demands to release the testimonies, saying that that the work of preparing the interim report, coupled with a tight schedule interrupted by the Pessah holiday, prevented them from examining the testimonies to check whether parts of them should be censored for national security reasons.
A political scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Prof. Shlomo Avineri, was quoted by Army Radio on Wednesday as saying that the committee should be allowed a better work environment.
"It is impossible for a committee appointed for such a serious undertaking to be constantly pressured by MKs or by the High Court," Avineri said.
On Tuesday, tensions between Winograd Committee members and the High Court mounted when members of the committee threatened to resign if its protocols were released by power of a court ruling before the committee scanned the testimonies.