Galant: State Comptroller exceeded his authority in land grab probe
Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant slams State Comptroller, Attorney General for inappropriate investigation after it was decided he will not be the next IDF chief of staff.
Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant harshly criticized State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Wednesday on the decision to cancel his imminent appointment as the tenth chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces.
In his appeal to the High Court on Wednesday, Galant claimed that the state comptroller exceeded his authority when he investigated the affair in which Galant is accused of improperly adding land to his property. Galant claimed that Lindenstrauss probed the case illegally since a petition had already been issued on the subject, which the attorney general was due to respond to.
"Not only did the state comptroller deal with the same issue, but he also dealt with it secretly, without informing the attorney general or the court, who were responsible for the investigation from the moment the petition was submitted and until a decision was reached," wrote Galant.
According to Galant, by doing this the state comptroller exceeded his authority and the outcome of the investigation became void when it involved both a conflict of authority between the state comptroller and the attorney general, as well as an illegal invasion into the court's exclusive authority.
Galant claimed that this explains why the state comptroller hid the investigation from the attorney general and the court, while it is clear that the state comptroller's ruling created an impossible and unfair time constraints which harmed his basic rights. According to Galant, this was done in order prevent him from appropriately defending the claims made against him, gathering documents and witnesses that would disprove the claims.
Galant said that as a result of the short time frame, he was forced to reply to the comptroller's draft report within only two days, and that in such a short time he was unable to speak to and invite witnesses who would appear before the comptroller. According to the notification issued on his behalf, Galant and his representatives had "a very difficult experience with respect to the harmful and discriminatory constraints imposed on the Major General that prevented him from appropriately responding to the draft report… The difficulty arose because the comptroller did not conduct an investigation from a blank page, rather on the basis of a tendentious complaint that was prepared over a long period of time and relies on thousands of documents and witness reports that all reflect a stance opposing the Major General. Galant himself was not given the opportunity to prepare a counterclaim."
Galant also claimed that as a result of Lindenstrauss' comments and hearing, many unsubstantiated and mistaken claims appeared in the comptroller's draft report and part of them also appeared in the final report. "It is not possible to disconnect the recommended requirement to hold a meticulous and detailed examination into the history and topography of Maj. Gen. Galant's land, from the overall attempt to prevent his appointment as chief of staff," it was written in Galant's appeal.
"It is no secret that various groups joined in order to prevent his appointment as chief of staff, among them opponents and rivals from the army, opponents and rivals of the Defense Minister, embroiled neighbors from Amikam, the Green Movement, newspapers and journalists. A long-term, unprecedented media battle against Galant has taken place, a horrible propaganda campaign against him and against all those who appointed him."
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