Uncensored interim report to be presented to Olmert and Peretz at 4 p.m.
By DAN IZENBERG
The government-appointed Winograd Committee of Examination will publish its interim report on the events of the Second Lebanon War on Monday, the committee said on Wednesday in a press communique.
According to the committee's statement, the censored report and Winograd's statement will be available in English and Hebrew versions, on the committee's official Internet site.
The committee members will present the full, uncensored report to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz at 4 p.m. An hour later, they will meet with media representatives at Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem. At the meeting, the committee chairman, retired judge Eliahu Winograd, will read a statement containing the main points of the censored report which will be released to the general public and an explanation of how it perceives its mission.
According to the statement, "the committee will hold this meeting and present the statement because of the importance it attributes to the accessibility of the entire public to the information."
The committee recently came under harsh criticism by the High Court of Justice and many outside observers because of the way it conducted the hearings during the first stage of its work. It heard all of the more than 60 witnesses who testified before it behind closed doors and did not publish transcripts of any of the meetings afterwards.
It was only when Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On petitioned the High Court of the Justice that the committee was forced to retreat from its intention of publishing transcripts only after the final report, if at all.
Even after the High Court told the committee it had ignored the fundamental right of the public to know and must start publishing the censored testimonies "within a reasonable amount of time," the committee published only three testimonies and then informed the court that it would not publish any more until after the interim report. The court allowed it to do so, but only after sharply criticizing it and accusing it of trying to undermine its ruling.
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