Police: No Need to Hand Over 'Forged' Document at Center of Race to Lead IDF

Investigators announce progress in establishing whether evidence pointing to a smear campaign by a top general against rivals to become Chief of Staff was forged.

Police said on Sunday that there was no need for Channel 2 television to hand over a document that could incriminate a candidate to be the next IDF chief, as they were making good progress with their investigation into claims it was forged.

Channel 2 last week lost an appeal against a court order to release the document, which apparently points to a plan by Maj. Gen.Yoav Galant to smear other candidates for the post of Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces.

Yoav Galant
Tomer Appelbaum

Court procedings have since been delayed, however, after it emerged that he document shown on screen by Channel 2 was not the original. Meanwhile, the document remains in the safe of a Petah Tikva court pending a decision on whether to release it to police.

But police the court on Sunday that as the document was no longer essential to their investigation, there was no need for the court to rule on its release.

Both Galant and Eyal Arad, a public relations consultant alleged to have compiled the document, say it is a forgery and it was in response to a complaint from Arad that police opened their inquiry.

So far, the investigation is confined to establishing if the document was faked. If police determine that it is authentic, the attorney general will rule on whether to probe army officers linked to the case.

On Friday it emerged that police had questioned IDF Spokesman Avi Benayahu at least three times in connection with the document, as well as other senior soldiers and defense officials.