The State Comptroller’s office announced on Monday that it will pass the draft report on the Harpaz affair to the two main people involved in the case, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, on Sunday next week.
The report was originally scheduled for distribution this week, but was postponed as both Barak and Ashkenazi were traveling abroad. Barak and Ashkenazi will receive the full draft from the hands of the State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, and will be able to comment before the final report is released within the next few months.
A number of others involved in the case will receive sections of the report that are related to their involvement.
The affair involves allegations that Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz forged a document in a bid to harm the candidacy of one of the candidates for Israel Defense Force chief of staff, Yoav Galant. In the end Galant was disqualified as a candidate over unrelated allegations that he had improperly used public lands near his home, and the current military chief, Benny Gantz, was appointed instead.
Lindenstrauss' probe of the affair has included interviews with about 350 people and the draft report has taken a year and four months to complete. Apparently at the center of the investigation is Harpaz's relationship with those around Ashkenazi, particularly Ashkenazi himself and his aide, Col. Erez Weiner. The investigation also looked into the bad blood in relations between Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the disqualification of Galant and the appointment of Gantz.
In recent months, Lindenstrauss has expressed shock at what he and his staff have uncovered. According to various assessments, Ashkenazi is expected to be the party who is hurt the most by the report, although he is not suspected of forging the document. Barak and his staff are also likely to come in for criticism, but the connection among Ashkenazi, Weiner and Harpaz is expected to be particularly detrimental to Ashkenazi.
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