Barak won't be investigated for comments on Iran

Attorney General rules out criminal investigation against former Defense Minister over his comments on a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

Elad Benari ,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced on Tuesday that he decided not to open a criminal investigation against former Defense Minister Ehud Barak over him possibly exposing confidential information about a possible Israeli attack on Iran.

Barak, in interviews with the authors of a biography on him, revealed that Israel was ready to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2011, but Ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Yuval Steinitz refused, and the plan was nixed.

The recordings were made public by Channel 2 News in August and caused an uproar in Israel over the fact that Barak may have revealed classified information that compromised Israel’s security.

Barak claimed he objected to contents of the information being exposed and even threatened the media with a lawsuit.

Following the Channel 2 report, complaints against Barak were filed with the police, alleging that he committed an offense which prohibits a public official to provide confidential information without authorization. The penalty for this type of offense is three years' imprisonment.

But Weinstein said on Tuesday that after examining the positions of the relevant parties in a discussion he held, he decided that there was no justification for a criminal investigation against Barak. His decision was based on a recommendation passed by state prosecutor Shai Nitzan which noted that the Channel 2 story was approved by the chief military censor, which approved the airing of the story because it determined that no details that could cause real harm to state security were released.

At the same time, Weinstein criticized Barak's conduct and said that "there is a problem with the transferring of information of the cabinet's discussions by a former minister to ghost writers and journalists, without obtaining permission."