State Comptroller Yosef Shapira on Thursday slammed allegations by Likud minister Yoav Gallant that his predecessor and a former attorney general were extorted to thwart the former general’s appointment as IDF chief of staff in 2011.
“In recent days, we heard from a candidate who attacks former attorney general Yehuda Weinstein and former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss in an unprecedented manner, and casts doubt on their integrity,” Shapira said.
“I am disgusted by these attacks, and certainly by a senior official who seeks the trust of the public. Both the attorney general and the state comptroller operate in a completely professional manner — they do not, and will not, take political considerations into account when making their decisions.”
Shapira said he was not suggesting that the attorney general and ombudsman are above criticism, but maintained it must be substantive and dignified.
Earlier this week, the Hadashot news outlet reported that Gallant told a public forum that Weinstein and Lindenstrauss were blackmailed to prevent him, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s preferred candidate, from assuming the top military role eight years ago.
When contacted by Hadashot to clarify who he was claiming had blackmailed the top legal officials, Gallant declined to respond.
Gallant’s appointment as IDF chief of staff was canceled over questions of impropriety regarding the construction of his home.
Gallant began his military career in the elite Shayetet 13 naval commando unit and is a highly regarded military strategist.
Initially approved by the government, his appointment was subsequently scrapped in 2011 when questions arose over his appropriation of public lands for the construction of his home in the village of Amikam, south of Haifa.
Instead, the job went to Benny Gantz, who recently launched a political party and campaign.
Gallant joined the newly created Kulanu party ahead of the 2015 elections, before defecting to Likud in early January.