ashkenazi - Eliahu Hershkowitz - October 22 2010
IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, center, transferring the GOC Southern Command from Yoav Galant, right, to Tal Russo, left, on Wednesday. Photo by Eliahu Hershkowitz
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The police recommended yesterday to the attorney general to press charges against Lt. Col. (res. ) Boaz Harpaz, suspected of falsifying the so-called Galant document that purported to contain a plan to support Yoav Galant's candidacy for chief of staff by besmirching his rivals. Yoav Segalovich, head of the police investigations and intelligence unit, has submitted the conclusions of the investigation to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, saying Harpaz should be charged with aggravated forgery and using a forged document. As Weinstein was closely monitoring the investigation from the start, a decision may well be expected within a few weeks.

According to police sources, Harpaz composed and wrote the document, describing a plan to compromise Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and Major Generals Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot, who were competing to succeed Ashkenazi at the time. The aim of the alleged plan was to help Defense Minister Ehud Barak promote the candidacy of Galant. Harpaz allegedly pasted the logo of Arad Communications onto the document.

He told interrogators this was done to give the document more weight and make it appear professional.

Harpaz was arrested two months ago, on his return to Israel from a European trip, and at first adamantly denied authorship of the document. He later gave a number of conflicting versions, including receiving the document in an envelope from an unknown person, until eventually confessing to writing it himself.

According to the findings of the investigative team headed by Chief Superintendent Yaron London, of the police serious and international crime investigation unit, Harpaz wrote the document on his own, in the cellar of his home.

Harpaz is alleged to have maintained a lively interest in the internal affairs of the general staff, gathering many minute detail of the goings-on from conversations and meetings with military and non-military figures. "He lived the army, he knew the agendas in the offices, he knew the internal politics and the power play, and all these details he drained into the document, written overnight on his laptop," a law enforcement source told Haaretz yesterday.

Left computer abroad

It was revealed yesterday that Harpaz originally left Israel on a working vacation, and did not bring back the computer he is alleged to have used to compose the document.

The computer was delivered to Israel several days after Harpaz returned, and police said a number of different versions and drafts of the document have been found.

The police computer laboratory also managed to piece together the remains of the document, which Harpaz is alleged to have attempted to erase.

Police believe Harpaz's ultimate aim in forging the document was helping Ashkenazi to stay in office, and that he did not expect the affair to assume the proportions that it did.

Over 100 witnesses were questioned as part of the investigation, police said, with some of the most sensitive witnesses personally questioned by Segalovich.