Barak testifies in Harpaz affair - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Forged Document

Barak. Another testimony Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry
Barak. Another testimony Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry
Harpaz. Traveled abroad Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Harpaz. Traveled abroad Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Lindenstrauss. Working on report Photo: Gil Yohanan
Lindenstrauss. Working on report Photo: Gil Yohanan

Barak testifies in Harpaz affair

State comptroller receives conflicting testimonies on alleged attempt to influence appointment of IDF chief. Defense minister gives final version ahead of report

Published: 12.21.11, 09:58 / Israel News

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is expected in several weeks to submit a draft report on the alleged attempt to influence the appointment of the Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, known as the "Harpaz affair".


Defense Minister Ehud Barak has testified before the comptroller and provided his final version on the matter, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday.


Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was summoned last week for another testimony, following information received by the State Comptroller's Office in recent months based on testimonies collected from sources in the defense minister and IDF chief's offices.

הרפז לאחר שחרורו ממעצר (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג) 

Harpaz after being released from custody (Photo: Ohad Zwigneberg)


The affair focuses on a document allegedly forged by Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Boaz Harpaz in a bid to build a positive profile for Major-General Yoav Galant, who was competing for the role of IDF chief, and a negative profile for current Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.


In recent weeks, the State Comptroller's Office obtained surprising documents and recordings of conversations between officers and workers at the defense minister and chief of staff's offices.


Harpaz has testified five times and given his version of the affair, but the testimonies did not concern the forgery. It has recently become known that an officer considered close to Harpaz left office after being responsible for extremely sensitive information during his military service.


'Embarrassing findings'

According to estimates, the comptroller will not let any of the sides off the hook, but surprises may be in store in regards to the division of responsibility and the severity of the findings collected so far.


The comptroller has heard quite a few testimonies which contradicted each other, causing confusion in the defense establishment.


About two weeks ago, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to allow Harpaz to leave the country for a short period.


In the meantime, despite a police recommendation that Harpaz was the one who forged the document, the State Prosecutor's Office has yet to indict him or summon him for a hearing, although the investigation was launched more than a year ago.


The state comptroller's report is expected to reveal serious flaws in Israel's top defense echelon in terms of appointments and personal relations defined as "embarrassing".



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