State Comptroller to Probe Allegation That PM Instructed Aides to Lie

Former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad, who was fired by Netanyahu in May 2011, made allegations.

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss said on Tuesday that he intends to probe the allegations made by a former top aide of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that the premier instructed his aides to lie to the state comptroller.

The State Control Committee gathered on Tuesday to discuss former National Security Adviser Uzi Arad's allegations.

Arad - Milrod - 14.3.12
Moti Milrod

Netanyahu decided to fire Arad from his post in May 2011, after he was accused of a serious security leak, which Arad now denies. The investigation into the leak was opened after the Obama administration complained about the publication of details of classified conversations between Israel and the United States regarding the civil nuclear issue in June 2010.

Tuesday's discussion turned out to be a confrontation between Arad and Netanyahu's military secretary Yohanan Locker. Arad has previously blamed Locker for inventing stories blaming him for the leak.

Earlier this month, in an interview to Yediot Aharonot, Arad said that Netanyahu is convinced that the State Comptroller "wants to destroy him," and that consequently the prime minister believes it is acceptable not to tell the truth during audits.

Arad's case began in the summer of 2010, when confidential security information was published in one of the Israeli news outlets. Netanyahu immediately ordered the Shin Bet to investigate the matter and locate the source of the leak. Most of Netanyahu's closest aides were questioned and underwent a polygraph test. Arad, who during his tenure routinely urged the prime minister to locate whistleblowers and punish them, was also questioned and was initially cleared along with many other government officials.

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet investigation had secretly carried on, and it was ultimately found that Arad was indeed the one responsible for the leak. Arad had allegedly let the information slip during a conversation with a reporter. The Defense Ministry later came to the conclusion that the leak caused significant harm to Israel's security.