Ashkenazi Denies Involvement in Plot to Bring Down Galant

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein says he doesn't intend to reopen the police investigation following Channel 1's report.

Former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi has denied any involvement in a plot aimed at disqualifying the former candidate to replace him.

Ashkenazi, who returned to Israel on Thursday after three months abroad, said he is the target of a mudslinging campaign and added that he would cooperate with the state comptroller if asked to do so.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, however, said he did not intend to reopen the police investigation following Channel 1's report last Friday that Ashkenazi's wife was actively involved in a campaign to block the appointment of the front-running candidate, Yoav Galant, to replace her husband.

Channel 1 reported new details Thursday night about text messages supposedly exchanged between Ronit Ashkenazi, Gabi Ashkenazi's wife; Boaz Harpaz, a reserves officer who admitted that he had forged a document criticizing Galant; and Asheknazi's former aide, Col. Erez Wiener.

The texts reportedly indicate that the three were gathering testimonies against Galant in an effort to disqualify him. The texts reportedly discuss construction violations Galant had committed at his villa. They also reportedly dealt with passing information about the construction violations on to State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss.

Last Friday, Channel 1 reported that Ronit Ashkenazi had exchanged more than 1,500 text messages with Boaz Harpaz.

Gabi Ashkenazi, who has been working in Washington for the past three months, returned briefly to give a lecture in Israel. He is expected to testify before the state comptroller again during his stay.

"I am aware of the latest reports as part of a campaign against me, my family and my future. I understand where it comes from and why," Ashkenazi said, hinting that his rival Barak was behind the campaign.