Israeli General Suspected of Rape Also Being Investigated for Obstruction of Justice

Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris’ lawyers deny the latest reports that the former Golani Brigade commander tried to contact witnesses.

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Ofek Buchris, 2010.
Ofek Buchris, 2010.Credit: Itzik Ben Malki

The Military Police are investigating whether Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris tried to obstruct an ongoing probe against him on suspicions of rape and other sexual offenses.

Specifically, they are investigating whether he tried to contact some of the witnesses. Channel 2 television reported last night that he tried to contact the ex-husband of one of the women who filed complaints against him.

Col. Asher Halperin, who heads the military defense attorneys’ corps and is representing Buchris in the case, denied that his client had sought to obstruct justice.

“The smear campaign against Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris continued this evening,” he said. “Any claim that the officer obstructed the investigation is utterly baseless. He hasn’t been questioned on suspicion of obstruction or any similar suspicion. As for the main issue, we will be able to comment only after the investigation has finished – comments that will rebut many false allegations heard recently, including this evening.”

The Military Police have been investigating Buchris for about a month now on suspicion of raping one former subordinate and sexually assaulting another. Both Buchris and the complainants have taken polygraph tests, and the women’s attorneys say the results show that Buchris lied while they told the truth. Investigators recently staged a confrontation between Buchris and the principal complainant, and they are expected to stage a confrontation between him and the second complainant, a major, soon.

When the allegations first came to light early last month, Buchris, a former commander of the Golani Brigade, was suspended from the army. He had just finished a posting as head of the army’s Command and Staff College and was slated to become head of the Operations Brigade. But due to the investigation, Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot revoked that appointment.