Judge Orders Channel 2 to Provide Investigators With Galant Document

Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court rejects Channel 2's request to strike down a police order requiring it to turn over the Galant document.

A Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court judge yesterday rejected Channel 2's request to strike down a police order requiring it to turn over the Galant document. An attorney for Channel 2 is expected to appeal the ruling this morning. Investigators wanted the document so as to ascertain the identity of the person behind the alleged public relations plan to boost the candidacy of GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Gllant in the race for the post of chief of staff.

The document, which includes unflattering descriptions of army rivals, was leaked to Channel 2, which broke the story on Friday.

"The principle of journalistic immunity pertains to the sources of information, and not the information itself," wrote Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court Judge Nachum Sternlicht.

Eyal Arad
Moti Milrod

"Expanding this privilege to information is out of the ordinary, when in this instance there is no place for such an expansion. The information itself has already been published, and all that is being requested by the police is the original document [whose contents have] already been reported by the Channel 2 News Company," he wrote.

Due to the urgency of the matter, it is possible the president of Petah Tikva District Court, Judge Hila Gerstel, may hear the appeal.

Police on Monday raided the offices of Eyal Arad, the head of a public relations firm whose logo is attached to the Galant document. Both Galant and Arad deny any connection to the document. Arad even filed a complaint with the police claiming that it is a forgery.

Investigators are keen on obtaining the document, though they denied reports of a breakthrough in the probe.

Amnon Abramovich, the Channel 2 reporter who obtained the Galant document, has yet to be summoned by investigators for questioning.