IDF General Accused of Raping Soldier Takes Polygraph Test

The general, who was due to become head of the army’s operations division this week, continues to deny the allegations.

Ofek Buchris, 2010.
Itzik Ben Malki

Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris underwent a polygraph test on Monday administered by the Military Police, in which he was asked detailed questions about the allegations that he had raped and sodomized a soldier who had served under him four years ago.

The questions he was asked focused on the sexual acts he allegedly committed and Buchris replied to all of them in the negative. As of Monday night his attorneys had not received the results of the test.

Last week Buchris took a privately administered polygraph test, in which he was asked if he had slept with the complainant and if he’d had “full sexual relations.” He answered those questions negatively, and the person administering the test reported that in his opinion Buchris was telling the truth.

This time, however, the questions got more specific about the types of acts allegedly committed, and whether he had forced himself on the complainant.

The military prosecution and police are continuing to investigate the serious allegations and believe that the complainant is credible. A military court that had seen some of the evidence said it provided grounds for further investigation.

The next significant step in the investigation is expected to be a confrontation between Buchris and the complainant, and perhaps also a confrontation with a second complainant, who has alleged that Buchris sexually harassed her with text messages.

Buchris was meant to become head of the Israel Defense Forces operations division this week, an important position which would have involved him in all the army’s battle-related activity and in determining how resources are divided among the various units. He was suspended from the army last week, however, and now it isn’t clear at what point Chief of General Staff Gadi Eisenkot will decide to replace him.

In an unusual move, however, the IDF Spokesman on Mondasy denied reports that Eisenkot would not name a new operations division head until the investigation against Buchris was completed. Col. Asher Halperin, who is representing Buchris in the case, said the officer “had not been promised anything” when he met with Eisenkot last week to discuss the allegations against him.

Buchris was not questioned further after the polygraph test on Monday. Channel 2 reported last night that the first complainant had undergone a polygraph test last week. Her attorney refused to comment, asking the media to “Let the Military Police do its work.”