The commission appointed by the government to investigate the handling of last summer's war will publish the testimonies of the prime minister, the defense minister and the former IDF chief of staff before the release of its interim report in mid-April, the commission's head said on Tuesday.
Retired Justice Eliyahu Winograd made the announcement in a letter he filed to the High Court of Justice in response to a petition by Meretz faction chairwoman MK Zahava Gal-On who had demanded that the testimonies' early publication.
In a press conference last week, the commission announced that an interim report on its findings would include "personal conclusions" against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz.
The commission said it would publish the testimonies of military and political officials according to the chronological order in which they had been collected, therefore placing the testimonies of the three key figures at the bottom of the order of precedence.
Hearings on Thursday
In her petition to the court Gal-On argued that it was in the public's interest to publish the testimonies of Olmert, Peretz and Halutz first.
"This is a victory as far as I am concerned," Gal-On said in response to the commission's letter. "The state informed the High Court of Justice in response to my petition that it was ready to bring forward the inspection of the testimonies of the prime minister, the defense minister and the former chief of staff."
Although upbeat, Gal-On said that during hearings at the court on Thursday she would demand that the Winograd Commission issue a timetable detailing the order in which its findings would be made public.
Also last week, the commission said it would allow Olmert, Peretz and Halutz to respond to personal criticism leveled at them in the interim report.
Halutz succumbed to public criticism of the army's poor performance during the war and resigned in January. He was replaced by Gabi Ashkenazi.