Former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad left his post after he was fired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a few months ago, and did not resign, as indicated at the time.
According to a Channel 10 report last night, Arad agreed to step down in exchange for not being charged with leaking sensitive information.
In the summer of 2010, after classified information was published in an Israeli media outlet, Netanyahu ordered the Shin Bet security service to find the source of the leak. Most of Netanyahu's senior bureau personnel, including Arad, were questioned, and all passed polygraph tests.
Furthermore, in January, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein's bureau specifically cleared Arad of any suspicions.
A senior official in Netanyahu's bureau said yesterday that the report may have come out only now because of a report yesterday in Yedioth Ahronoth of details from recent meetings last week between the Prime Minister's Bureau and American officials regarding Netanyahu's foreign policy speeches and President Barack Obama.
The new national security adviser, Ya'akov Amidror was present, along with his predecessor Arad. The Americans were angry that details of the meetings were leaked to the Israeli press, prompting Netanyahu's bureau to clarify that the matter had been severely dealt with.
Arad yesterday denied the reports that he had leaked information, and told Haaretz he had been planning to step down for some time.
The Prime Minister's Office said it "does not relate to matters under investigation, even when what is claimed is mistaken..." The PMO reiterated that Arad had asked to step down.
The Shin Bet declined to respond.
The Justice Ministry said that it had initially found that the leak did not come from the Prime Minister's Bureau, but when the Shin Bet came to the attorney general a few weeks later with new information, it approved the reopening of the investigation. "At its conclusion, Mr Arad took responsibility for the series of events leading to the report, although he denied leaking [anything], certainly not intentionally."
The Justice Ministry said that under the circumstances, and in coordination with the Shin Bet, the attorney general saw no reason to pursue criminal proceedings."
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