IDF denies reports of Ashkenazi criminal probe

Former chief of staff’s spokesman says content of TV report unknown to us and sounds bizarre.

Ashkenazi galant duo 311 (photo credit: AP/Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Ashkenazi galant duo 311
(photo credit: AP/Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The IDF Spokesman’s Office denied a Channel 10 report aired on Sunday night that claimed the military advocate-general had ordered a criminal probe against former chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi over his alleged involvement in the Harpaz affair.
“The military advocate-general did not order a criminal investigation,” The IDF spokesman said.
“There is a professional internal discussion between the army prosecution and the attorney-general. Due to the nature of things we do not address internal content before a final decision has been taken.”
Earlier, Channel 10 claimed that the military advocate-general, Brig-Gen.
Danny Efroni, has recommended that a criminal investigation be opened against Ashkenazi and his ex-personal assistant over suspicions of alleged fraud and breach of public trust.
The report said the recommendations were made to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.
“The advocate-general based his opinion on recordings of conversations from the [former] chief of staff’s bureau. He thinks they don’t leave room for doubt over the need to open a criminal investigation,” the report added. It said that Weinstein did not need to accept Efroni’s recommendation, and that in any case the attorney-general would wait for the recommendation of state prosecutors over the matter.
Ashkenazi’s spokesman said the content of the Channel 10 report “are not known to us and sound bizarre.”
The document that sparked the affair, known as the Harpaz document, after Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a former intelligence officer accused of drawing it up, was designed to damage the reputations of senior IDF officers who were contending for the post of chief of staff in 2010, and who were backed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
Viner is under investigation after it emerged that he was in close contact with Harpaz.
He was due to be appointed chief education officer in the IDF, but the appointment was recently canceled due to the ongoing investigation.