Ex-IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi To Be Tried
Police on Tuesday recommended putting former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi on trial over the infamous Harpaz Affair, in which Lieutenant-Colonel Boaz Harpaz forged a document meant to prevent General Yoav Galant from becoming Ashkenazi's successor.
Ashkenazi was recommended for trial on charges of passing secret information and breach of trust in the 2010 forgery case.
In addition to the popular former chief of staff, the police recommended trying former IDF Spokesperson Chief Avi Benayahu for disrupting the investigation, negligently holding secret documents, and breach of trust.
Likewise, former Chief of Staff aide Col. (res.) Erez Weiner was recommended over charges of disrupting the investigation.
The police noted in their recommendation that during the investigation of the case they unearthed a framework of evidence indicating that the forgery was in fact committed by Harpaz alone, without the involvement of Ashkenazi, Weiner and Benayahu. It further strengthened the idea that the three believed the document to be authentic.
However, the investigation found that the three, along with Gen. (res.) Gabi Siboni, coordinated among themselves matching alibis ahead of their investigation in the case.
It also was revealed the Ashkenazi contacted former Military Advocate General and current Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit, saying he had the forged document in his possession and hadn't reported it, even though he knew a police investigation had been launched and the document was sought as evidence.
Mandelblit did not order Ashkenazi to report the document for several days according to the investigation, and further, gave information about the case received thanks to his position to those involved even as the investigation was ongoing.
As a result, police noted enough evidence has been gathered to build a case against Mandelblit for a breach of trust and disrupting legal proceedings, and recommended putting him on trial as well.
It was likewise found that Ashkenazi delayed in reporting the fact that the forged document was in his possession despite being aware of the investigation.
Leading up to the investigation Weiner ordered members of his staff to erase meetings from Ashkenazi's calendar, in a blatant act of disrupting proceedings and breach of trust as charged by the investigation.
Ashkenazi was further found to have leaked documents classified as "top secret" and beyond to reporters during briefings and background discussions, in breach of the guidelines and without a significant reason justifying handing over segments of the information.