Weinstein rules to freeze Barak's probe of Galant affair

Prior to first meeting of Brick Committee, attorney general reverses defense minister's decision to launch investigation of top military officers.

Weinstein 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Weinstein 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Monday ruled that the activities of the Brick Committee, which was commissioned by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to investigate IDF involvement in the "Galant Document" affair, will be frozen while the criminal investigation into the affair is still ongoing.
Weinstein ruled that the criminal investigation takes precedence and an investigative committee could hamper the police and state prosecutor's work.
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On Thursday, Barak announced the appointment of a retired major-general to probe the conduct of top military officers with regard to the so-called “Galant Document” affair.

Barak dropped the bombshell during a meeting of the General Staff which he attended to raise a toast in honor of the upcoming Jewish New Year.
Barak said that he was particularly concerned and disturbed by the alleged involvement of senior officers – some in service and others in the reserves – in the affair.
“This is not a simple affair and it leaves many questions even after the police completed its investigation,” Barak told the IDF generals.
“I am concerned by the attempt of a number of senior officers in service and in the reserves who tried to stop and delay the process of announcing the next chief of staff and to illegitimately influence the outcome,” he said.
“The attempt almost succeeded.
This was a move that fascinated the whole state for a few weeks, and damaged the public’s faith in the IDF,” the defense minister added.
The Galant Document was revealed last month on Channel 2, allegedly outlining the way to lead to the appointment of OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant to succeed Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi in February.
Police have arrested retired Lt.-Col. Boaz Harpaz, a former Military Intelligence officer apparently friendly with Ashkenazi, who allegedly forged the document.
“The events were not simple, and leave a lot of question marks, even after the police finished its investigation,” Barak said. “It is a warning sign for whoever wishes to live in a democratic country, where the military is subordinate to the government.”
Barak said he appointed Maj.- Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick, the current IDF ombudsman in charge of soldiers’ complaints, to review the affair and issue recommendations how to avoid similar incidents in the future.