Pines Asks Mazuz About PM's Winograd Candidate

MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) asked the attorney general in a letter yesterday if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had reported that a proposed member of the Winograd Committee investigating the Second Lebanon War had served as an informal adviser on the conduct of the war. If Olmert did not report the conflict of interest, he could be suspected of breach of trust, Pines-Paz wrote in his letter.

Major General (Res.) Yedidia Ya'ari, director general of Rafael Arms Development Authority, was one of several external advisers with whom Olmert consulted regarding the launch of an extended ground operation toward the end of the war, as Haaretz reported recently. After the war, Olmert wanted to appoint Ya'ari to the inquiry committee, but Attorney General Menachem Mazuz nixed the idea due to concern over a conflict of interest stemming from Ya'ari's position at a government company under the defense minister.

Olmert's bureau said his consultations should not keep anyone from serving in any position, and said the statement regarding a suspected criminal offense is "harebrained and delusional."