Israel Attorney General Unlikely to Agree to New Criminal Probe in Harpaz Affair

Refusal comes days after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' filed request based on new information that ostensibly corroborated suspicions raised in the draft report he issued some two months ago.

The attorney general is not inclined to reopen a criminal investigation into the so-called Harpaz affair, despite the state comptroller's request.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' request is based on new information that ostensibly corroborates the suspicions raised in the draft report he issued some two months ago.

Former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi (left) and former Mossad chief Dagan, New York, April 29, 2012.
Mark Yisrael Salem

In 2010 Lt. Col. Boaz Harpaz confessed to police that he had forged a document in a bid to thwart Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment as IDF chief of staff, to replace outgoing Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi.

Lindenstrauss' draft report slammed the conduct of Ashkenazi and his aide, Col. Erez Weiner, who allegedly received the document from Harpaz. Weiner has petitioned the High Court to force Lindenstrauss to reveal the evidence against him.

Weinstein asked the court on Friday to put off the hearing on Weiner's petition scheduled for today to give him time to think over the comptroller's request to re-open a criminal investigation.

If the court grants Weiner's petition, the comptroller's final report will be delayed until long after Lindenstrauss ends his tenure in early July. Lindenstrauss fears that by then the affair will be forgotten.

The new information consists of Harpaz's statements about his relations with Weiner and Ashkenazi.

Sources familiar with the affair told Haaretz Harpaz's accusations against Ashkenazi "are broader and more reasoned than before."

Lindenstrauss wants to probe Harpaz's claims as well as Weiner's and Ashkenazi's statements about the alleged malfunctions that led to the destruction of recordings in Defense Minister Ehud Barak's office.

If Weinstein agrees to Lindenstrauss' request, the comptroller's gain will be two-fold - for one thing, the examination will become a criminal procedure. In addition, Weiner will not be entitled to see the testimonies against him, as they will become part of a police inquiry.