Sources: AG Likely to Close Case Against Former IDF Chief Gabi Ashkenazi

Police had recommended indicting former army chief of staff over suspicions that he leaked a state secret to journalists, in so-called 'Harpaz Affair.'

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
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File photo of then IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Sept. 5, 2010.Credit: Alon Ron
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is likely to close the case against former Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, according to sources in the Justice Ministry, although no official opinion to that effect has been issued yet.

Sources in the ministry said on Wednesday that closure of the case has been discussed in closed meetings.

Over the past few months, the ministry has consulted intelligence experts with regard to suspicions that Ashkenazi had leaked a state secret to journalists. This was the only issue in which even slight suspicions remained against Ashkenazi.

The investigation against him was launched after the former chief of staff came under suspicion of delaying a report to authorities that he had possession of a document composed by Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz, a reserve officer and Ashkenazi associate, detailing plans among the camp of then-defense minister Ehud Barak to launch a mudslinging campaign against Ashkenazi. It was suspected that Ashkenazi delayed reporting the document to the authorities because he knew that a police probe would be launched against him on charges of breach of trust due to suspicions that he himself was involved in the affair.

Ashkenazi is also suspected of leaking information classified as top secret, including about operations abroad, to journalists during press briefings and background conversations, suspicions that led police last September to recommend indicting Ashkenazi on charges of breach of trust and divulging of information to unauthorized persons.

The police said at the time that no evidence was found that Ashkenazi was involved in a plan to topple Barak.

Tony Goldenberg of the Tel Aviv district prosecution is now working on an opinion regarding the other suspicions. It is believed that the only people who will be charged in the so-called Harpaz affair are former IDF spokesman Avi Benayahu and Ashkenazi’s former aide, Erez Weiner.

The attorney general is expected to announce his decision in the case by the end of his term of office in January.