Defense Minister Ehud Barak accused former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi of giving and receiving bribes, in a letter sent to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Sunday.
In the letter, sent on his behalf by his attorney Navot Telzur, Barak claimed that Ashkenazi and his assistant, Col. Erez Weiner, took bribes in exchange for the appointment and promotion of IDF officers. He accused Ashkenazi and his associates of crimes including conspiracy, obstruction of justice, fraud and breach of trust and urged the attorney general to launch a criminal investigation into the two’s alleged actions.
Ashkenazi denied the claims, calling Barak’s accusations “delusional and unfounded.”
Barak also asked Weinstein to reopen a criminal investigation into the so-called Harpaz Affair and urged the state comptroller’s office to make public a recent report investigating the affair. Barak claimed the report implicated Ashkenazi.
However, the attorney general said on Sunday that he would not reopen the case at this time, Haaretz reported.
In 2010 Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz confessed that he forged a document to try to prevent Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant from being appointed Ashkenazi’s successor as IDF chief of staff. The incident started a long chain of investigations and accusations that implicated senior officials in the IDF and government.
According to Haaretz, Tezlur wrote that the recent state comptroller draft report of the affair shows that Harpaz had great influence over senior IDF appointments and that by empowering him in this way, Ashkenazi enabled Harpaz to receive bribes from officers looking for promotions.
In return, Ashkenazi accuses Barak’s office of deliberately destroying tapes of relevant conversations that would shed light on the affair, and rejects the claim that the tapes were ruined by accident.
In the meantime the parties involved are engaged in legal wranglings that could delay publication of the final report until after the current state comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss, retires in July. Should that happen there may be a prolonged delays of several years before the report is published as the new state comptroller learns all of the details of the case.