Former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on Thursday submitted the near-final draft of his report on the so-called Harpaz affair to those implicated in it.
They will be given two weeks to respond to the allegations.
Israeli media outlets reported Thursday that the main additions in the new draft were clauses concerning Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Most of the criticism, however, was still leveled at former IDF chief of general staff Lt.-Gen. (res) Gabi Ashkenazi.
The affair began with a document, purportedly linked to Ashkenazi, which was drawn up to smear his potential successor Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant. The document was authored in a way that painted Galant as someone who would stop at nothing in his campaign to secure the job of IDF chief.
Lt.-Col. (res.) Boaz Harpaz, a reserves officer in Military Intelligence and an acquaintance of Ashkenazi, confessed under police questioning — though he subsequently retracted his admission — that the document was a forgery.
The State Comptroller’s Office launched an investigation into the affair in October 2010.
Ashkenazi’s attorney, Sharon Kleinman, said the new draft clearly stated that her client and those affiliated with him “were not involved in writing the [Harpaz] document, falsifying it or leaking it.” The report proved that Ashkenazi did not try to lead a “putsch” against Barak, and did not have any business dealings with Harpaz, she added.
Last month, Chief Military Prosecutor Brig. Gen. Danny Efroni recommended that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein launch a criminal investigation into the involvement of Ashkenazi and his aide, Col. Erez Weiner, in the affair.
Efroni indicated in his report that the two military men were suspected of fraud and breach of trust. Lindenstrauss had previously ordered a criminal investigation into the affair, without specifying Ashkenazi’s suspected culpability.
Efroni based his findings on a transcript of a phone conversation between Ashkenazi and Weiner. The transcript revealed that Ashkenazi had known about a forged document produced by Harpaz with the intention of discrediting Galant and torpedoing his ascension to the military’s top post.