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The police are believed to have obtained a copy of the so-called Galant document, which purports to have been prepared by a consultancy firm to advise GOC Southern Commander Yoav Galant in his bid to succeed Gabi Ashkenazi as Israel Defense Force chief of staff.

Yesterday, state prosecution attorney Dan Eldad told the Petah Tikva District Court that the police have agreed to defer a ruling by the court as to whether Channel 2 has to give it its copy of the Galant document.

This surprise change of tack suggests that the police have obtained a copy of the document on their own.

The document, ostensibly drafted by Eyal Arad's consulting firm, was originally publicized by Channel 2 news.

Channel 2's copy is being held in a court safe. The TV station has objected to the police receiving it.

Police believe the document was drafted by someone outside Arad Communications. The document bears the firm's logo, which may have been used without the firm's permission. The police are thought to have obtained their copy independently, from one of the people who have testified in the affair. They also may have obtained it from Arad Communications' computer system or from defense establishment computers, through search warrants issued by the court.

Defense officials and Arad Communications' staff will be going through further questioning. Dozens of people who are not suspected of wrongdoing have testified.

Police officials yesterday declined to say how long they thought their investigation would continue. The investigation concerns only suspicions of document forgery, and the probe will end once they learn whether a forgery was committed, they said.

Both public relations adviser Lior Horev and the IDF spokesman denied a report in the Globes newspaper that stated Horev had personally advised GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi, who is also a chief of staff candidate.

All of those involved acknowledged that Horev and Mizrahi had met, but deny they discussed Mizrahi's chief of staff candidacy.

As a reserve soldier, Horev assists the IDF spokesman's office on communications issues and recently began assisting the Central Command. He is also a partner in Arad Communications.