Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein stopped the big hand of the clock on Barak's race to appoint a new chief of staff yesterday.

Weinstein called a meeting between state prosecutor Moshe Lador, Lador's deputy on criminal affairs Yehoshua Lamberger, and the chief of intelligence and investigations in the police, Maj. Gen. Yoav Segalovich. Despite the military background of the Galant document affair, the Shin Bet was not brought into the picture, since the suspected offense, forgery of a document credited to help GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant, is a purely criminal one.

Preferring the police over the Shin Bet in this case has an added benefit: The police investigative department is fairer and more effective than the Shin Bet in investigating senior Israeli personalities. The Shin Bet has many running cases, which prevent it from getting to the truth and instead bring about miserable results.

The police, unlike the Shin Bet, are not subservient to the prime minister, and do not offer him or members of his cabinet any exaggerated diffidence.

After the meeting with Weinstein, Segalovich rushed back to Lod, to the compound housing his headquarters, the elite Lahaf 433 unit, and the investigative units.

Segalovich decided to hand the investigation to the international and aggravated crimes unit, headed by Haim Ifergan, a veteran intelligence man and cousin to the "X-ray Rabbi" Yaakov Yisrael Ifergan of Netivot. But the X-ray's powers are not likely to be needed in this case: It's fairly clear. The investigation is expected to be closely monitored by the chief of the international department, Chief Superintendent Yaron London, who will head the investigation team.

Internationality aside, Segalovich's work method closely resembles El Al's red-eye to New York: A noisy, well-lit takeoff, some commotion, but then darkness and silence up until very close to landing. Segalovich is trying to educate his investigators on media silence and isolation, but this time it may turn out rather difficult, as the investigation was conceived in the media and is dealing with the media.

In a similar investigation some years ago, when police were hunting for the source of the leak on the investigation into the affairs of Ariel Sharon, someone on Channel 2 helped police find Haaretz's source.

No such good will is expected this time around, when the publication in question originated on the channel itself. Segalovich will have to decide whether to request a court order to seize the document, although, as he knows, journalists will still strive hard to preserve the anonymity of their sources. The forensics lab may well be put to use.

The investigation was meant to start yesterday on the civilian side of the case. From this perspective, a senior official like the defense minister chief of staff Yoni Koren, faces more risk than his old youth movement instructor 35 years back, Yoav Galant.

It may well be that Yoav 1, Segalovich, will not meet Yoav 2, Galant, even once throughout the investigation. The best result of the investigation, as far as Galant is concerned, will be Segalovich ruling that the document is forged and that a suspected forger has been located.

But this won't be enough if the investigators also confirm that activity for Galant, in the spirit if not the letter of the memo, has been taking place in PR spinmeister Eyal Arad's office. The supreme task for Galant is to clear himself in the eyes of the Netanyahu family from the terrible stain of relations with Arad.