Winograd Seeking Delay in Testimony Release

The Winograd Committee and the State Prosecutor's Office are to ask the High Court of Justice this morning to postpone releasing the testimonies of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former chief of staff Dan Halutz.

If the request is made based on the argument that censorship of the material has not been completed and the release would harm state security, the High Court may allow a postponement beyond their order to release the material as soon as possible, understood to be tomorrow. However, if the argument is based on the Winograd Committee's opposition in principle or on Olmert's position, which the High Court already rejected, the Court may order the testimonies' immediate release.

MK Zahava Gal-On, who submitted the petition, is expected to tell the High Court tomorrow through attorney Dafna Holtz-Lechner that she opposes any delay in the testimonies' publication. "It's a pity that the State Prosecutor's Office is lending a hand to taking the name of security in vain, at the behest of the prime minister," Gal-On said, adding that Olmert was trying to "prevent the public from knowing the truth about his responsibility for the war."

MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) said the prime minister was once again using security claims to survive politically, as he did in order to prevent the release of the state comptroller's report on the preparedness of the home front for the war. MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor), who was a minister during the war, said "transparency is the highest value that must be protected, striking the balance that will allow the minutes to be published while protecting security."