Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein
ordered a limited criminal investigation confined to the IDF
into the Harpaz affair.
The investigation will examine misconduct by former Chief of Staff Lieutenant General (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi
and his aide Colonel Erez Weiner.
It is possible other IDF officials will be implicated.
It remains unclear who will conduct the investigation and weather civilian law enforcement authorities will take part in the inquiry.
Ashkenazi expressed outrage that only papers pertaining to his bureau were investigated.
He demanded an investigation into the serious findings noted in the State Comptroller's report regarding the conduct of Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his staff, including abuse of power, harming the IDF and destruction of tapes from the defense minister's office.
Netanyahu, Barak and Ashkenazi in 2009 (Photo: Haim Tzach, Yedioth Ahronoth)
A statement on behalf the former chief of staff said Ashkenazi will fully cooperate with the investigation. ”Nevertheless, it is unthinkable that there are documents, tapes and investigations on one side only," the statement read.
Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Danny Efroni was the main driving force behind the decision to launch a criminal investigation while the majority of officials at the State Prosecutor's Office felt there was no room for a criminal proceedings.
In February 2011 Weinstein ordered his office to examine whether there was sufficient evidence to launch a criminal investigation and established a team including Shin Bet and police representatives.
The initial check found there was no room for a criminal investigation beyond the forgery probe. However, the State has since obtained documents and testimonies which warrant further examination.
After harsh criticism was passed in the State Comptroller's report on the Harpaz Affair, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz dismissed Colonel Erez Weiner from the Israel Defense Forces, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
Weiner, who was former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi's assistant, was dismissed based on severe complaints against him for "involvement in the Harpaz Affair," according to the report.