New Harpaz report focuses on Barak

The first draft of the report had focused most of its criticism on Ashkenazi and his former aid IDF Col. Erez Viner.

Harpaz 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Harpaz 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
Former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on Thursday night sent a more balanced draft of his final Harpaz Affair report to former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and some of their surrogates.
The draft was only handed out to those involved in the investigation, but a letter regarding the draft was publicly distributed and the main parties involved gave partial reactions.
The reactions had to be limited because of a gag order on publishing specific details before the final report is sent out.
The first draft of the report had focused most of its criticism on Ashkenazi and his former aid IDF Col. Erez Viner, with passing criticism of Barak.
The new draft, issued after additional submissions from all the involved parties has a new section with criticism of Barak.
Earlier in the week, news reports said Military Advocate Gen. Danny Efroni was convinced that either the state attorney or his prosecutor would file an indictment against Viner based on evidence of deceit and breach of trust from telephone transcripts.
News reports had also mentioned that earlier drafts of the Harpaz Report criticized Viner and Ashkenazi’s wife for improper contacts with Harpaz and his activities.
Sources close to Ashkenazi said that the new section on Barak addresses prior news reports accusations that Barak or his aides had tapes of his conversations destroyed and had ordered the compiling of damaging information about former IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. (res.) Avi Benayahu.
Ashkenazi’s spokesman responded that from a first reading of the report, “Ashkenazi was not involved in writing the document, forging it or leaking it.”
The response also said that the report shows that Ashkenazi never tried to have his term extended to a fifth year or attempted any kind of putsch to control who would be his successor.
Finally, the response indicated that the report established no relevant connection between Ashkenazi and Harpaz.
Despite the greater balance between criticism of Ashkenazi and Barak, overall the report was still expected to weigh in against Ashkenazi the most.
The Harpaz Affair is named for a document allegedly forged by Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz in possible army infighting and attempts to discredit a candidate to succeed Ashkenazi as chief of staff.