Micha Lindenstrauss Herzliya
Micha Lindenstrauss speaking at the Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss called for a criminal investigation into the Harpaz affair, indirectly criticizing Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein for not having launched one already.

The affair involves a possible attempt to influence the selection of the successor of former Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, through a document, allegedly forged by Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz. The State Comptroller's draft report of the affair sharply criticized the conduct of Ashkenazi and his former aide Erez Weiner, who has petitioned the High Court of Justice to be given access to more of the evidence against him. Weiner already received some materials, but says that in order to respond to Lindenstrauss' draft report, he needs additional material.

The State Attorney's Office wants Lindenstrauss to hand over the material, arguing that this would not undermine a police investigation into the matter. But Lindenstrauss strongly disagrees.

About 10 days ago, Lindenstrauss informed Attorney General Weinstein of suspicions that criminal acts were committed during the Harpaz affair, and recommended that a new criminal investigation into the matter be launched.

The recommendation for a criminal probe stemmed in part from a new claim Harpaz raised during the State Comptroller's investigation, according to which former Chief of Staff Ashkenazi used him to collect evidence against Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

In response, Weinstein asked Lindenstrauss to complete his report on the State Comptroller's investigation into the case, while the State Attorney's Office and the police work to decide on whether a criminal investigation should be opened.

At this stage the law enforcement agencies are not inclined to initiate a criminal investigation into the case.

If Weinstein agreed to Lindenstrauss' request to launch a criminal investigation, Weiner would not be entitled to see testimony against him, since that would become part of the police inquiry.

A spokesman for Lindenstrauss said Friday that "the Comptroller has once again expressed the hope that Weinstein will order the start of a criminal investigation on the matters that were relayed to him in detail and where genuine suspicion that criminal activities were carried out is proven."