Israeli Military Police Expect Breakthrough Soon in Rape Inquiry Against Army General

The next stage of the investigation will include a confrontation between Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris and his accuser – a woman who served under his command in the IDF.

Ofek Buchris, 2010.
Itzik Ben Malki

Following a week investigating rape charges against Israel Defense Forces Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris, military police investigators say they expect to make major progress in the case in the next few days.

The next stage of the investigation will include a confrontation between Buchris and his accuser – a woman who served under his command in the IDF.

A special military court last week examined evidence collected against Buchris, and said there is a basis to the accusations. Buchris has vehemently denied all charges.

The military police plan to hold the confrontation between the two this week, although no date has been finalized. Both Buchris and his accuser have agreed to the confrontation. The date for an additional polygraph test Buchris has agreed to has not been set, either. Buchris has backed his denial with the results of a polygraph test he commissioned privately, but the second polygraph test will be handled by the military police.

The woman has also agreed to undergo a polygraph test and has made her psychological file available to investigators.

The alleged victim sent Buchris a letter 18 months ago, Channel 10 reported on Friday. “You ruined my life, raped me and hurt me,” she wrote him.

Buchris’ lawyers from the Military Defender’s Office declined to comment on the letter or even whether he received it. Buchris is suspected of committing five counts of rape, sexual assault and sodomy over a lengthy period of time.

A second woman, who served as an officer under Buchris in the Golani Brigade, also told the military police Buchris had sexually harassed her.

The allegations concern messages the two exchanged in which Buchris allegedly asked the woman to come to his office late at night. He claims this was work related and calls any accusations of sexual harassment lies.

The military police may also try to arrange a confrontation between her and Buchris.

The Buchris case is considered extremely important, not just because of the seriousness of the charges but also because of both the defendant’s rank and heroic military record, and because of his total denials of the accusations. This will require the collection of concrete evidence against Buchris in order to obtain a conviction.