Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi held separate meetings yesterday with State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, as the comptroller’s investigation of the events around the appointment of Ashkenazi’s successor, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, got underway. Particular attention is expected to be paid to the document allegedly forged by Col. ‏(res.‏) Boaz Harpaz to implicate Galant in hiring media advisers to besmirch his rivals.

Both men met separately with Lindenstrauss and with the head of the division for monitoring the Defense Ministry, Maj. Gen. ‏(res.‏) Ya’akov Orr. No details were given of the meeting, but Ashkenazi and Barak have each stated his version of the events around Galant’s appointment, and particularly around the document allegedly composed by Harpaz.

Both are expected to meet with the comptroller again in the future to answer more specific questions as the investigation progresses and provide the comptroller with documents in support of their statements.

Barak informed the comptroller that he accepts his request to freeze, for the time being, the work of a committee he appointed to investigate the affair.

Associates of Ashkenazi voiced satisfaction yesterday with the fact that the committee − which they saw as an attempt by Barak to impinge on Ashkenazi − is off the agenda and that a third, unbiased party will investigate instead.

Observers within the defense establishment worry Lindenstrauss may open a Pandora’s box on the conduct of the entire top brass over the past year.