MAG probing officers linked to Harpaz affair
Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz confessed to the police in August that he had forged a document, the so-called Galant document, outlining a plan to advance Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment as next chief of staff by denigrating the other candidates and current IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi.
The military advocate general is looking into the ethical conduct of senior officers involved in the so-called Harpaz affair surrounding the selection of the Israel Defense Forces' next chief of staff.
Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz confessed to the police in August that he had forged a document, the so-called Galant document, outlining a plan to advance Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment as next chief of staff by denigrating the other candidates and current IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi. The affair is now being investigated by the state comptroller.
Military Advocate General Avichai Mendelblit has been asked to head an examination into the affair's ethical aspects after the police found no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing by career officers involved.
The advocate general's inquiry concerns officers including the chief of staff, his former deputy Benny Gantz, who is on retirement leave, and GOC Northern Command Gadi Eizenkot. (Both Gantz and Eizenkot contended with Galant for chief of staff, and both had been shown the document by Ashkenazi. )
Also on the list are Col. Gabi Siboni, who helped pass the document to Channel 2, and Ashkenazi's aide, Col. Erez Weiner, who let Siboni photocopy the document in Ashkenazi's office.
The inquiry could prove especially significant for Weiner, whom Ashkenazi recently appointed chief education officer.
Chief of staff-designate Galant and Defense Minister Ehud Barak object to Weiner's appointment and Barak suspended dozens of senior IDF appointments until Galant enters office - probably also with the intention of foiling Weiner's appointment.
Weiner said he had been acting on his own when he showed Siboni the document and told the police he did not think the document would reach the media.
Ashkenazi sees no fault in his aide's conduct and has backed him.
The advocate general's conclusions in the Harpaz affair, alongside the state comptroller's report, may have repercussions on Weiner's appointment. If Galant and Barak revoke the appointment, Weiner may launch a legal battle.
The IDF has conducted an additional probe into the Harpaz affair. At Ashkenazi's instruction, former Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, director of Military Intelligence, appointed an internal MI team to examine field security aspects of the affair such as the free access Harpaz and other senior reserve officers had to classified units and bases. The team has already submitted its findings to Yadlin and Ashkenazi.
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