Lindenstrauss to Probe Whether Netanyahu’s Office Lied to State Comptroller

State Comptroller says he will investigate allegations by Netanyahu’s former top aide that the premier instructed his advisers to lie to the State Comptroller during audits.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said Tuesday that he intends to probe the allegations made by a former top aide of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that the premier instructed his aides to lie to the state comptroller.

The State Control Committee gathered on Tuesday to discuss former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad’s allegations.

Netanyahu, Arad
Moshe Milner

Netanyahu decided to fire Arad from his post in May 2011, after he was caught in a serious security leak, which Arad now denies. The investigation, at the end of which Arad was forced to resign, was opened after a request from the Obama administration, after details of classified conversations between the Israel and the U.S. related to the civil nuclear issue in June 2010.

Tuesday’s discussion turned out to be a confrontation between Arad and Netanyahu’s military secretary Yohanan Locker. Arad has previously blamed Locker for making up stories against him regarding the alleged leak.

Earlier this month, in an interview to Yediot Aharonot, Arad said that Netanyahu is convinced that the State Comptroller "wants to destroy him," and that consequently the prime minister believes it is acceptable not to tell the truth during audits as a consequence.

During Tuesday’s discussion, Arad reiterated his claims that the Prime Minister’s Office’s military secretariat created censorship between the National Security Council and the State Comptroller.

“When I was in the Mossad there was direct communications with control bodies,” Arad said.

“The prime minister’s military secretariat is not acting according to the law. I tried to convince them otherwise, I threatened my resignation,” he said. “I left because I saw that I cannot move forward.”

In the interview to Yediot Aharonot, he was asked about his departure from his former post, Arad maintained, "I never leaked." “About Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu] you can say that whoever leaked state secrets in the past, easily accepts such an accusation when it is leveled at somebody else,” Arad added.

According to Arad, Sara Netanyahu also criticized him over the alleged leak, asking, “Why did you go to the comptroller?”

Arad’s case began in the summer of 2010, when confidential security information was published in one of the Israeli news outlets. As a result, Netanyahu immediately ordered the Shin Bet to investigate the matter and locate the source of the leak. Most of Netanyahu's closest aides were questioned and underwent a polygraph test. Arad, who during his tenure routinely urged the prime minister to locate whistleblowers and punish them, was also questioned and was initially cleared along with many other government officials.

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet investigation had secretly carried on, and it was ultimately found that Arad was indeed the one responsible for the leak. Arad had allegedly let the information slip during a conversation with a reporter. The Defense Ministry later came to the conclusion that the leak caused significant harm to Israel's security.