JERUSALEM (Dec. 9)
Supreme Court Justice Shimon Agranat has rejected charges that an allegedly missing diary contains information relevant to his committee’s investigation of the conduct of the Yom Kippur War. In a letter to Defense Minister Shimon Peres released today. Agranat dismissed the contention by Gen. Shmuel Gonen (Ret.) that the original diary was concealed and that a forgery was submitted to the committee. He said an investigation found no substantial evidence to bear out those charges and that in any case, neither the diary nor tape recordings of battle field communications that Gonen alleged were altered, contained vital information.
Agranat’s letter was in response to the Defense Minister’s request last week that his committee investigate the mystery of the missing diary and erased tapes in what has been called Israel’s “Watergate” affair. Agranat said a full recital of the committee’s findings would be included in its final report expected to be submitted to the government during the next few weeks.
The Agranat Committee’s interim report published earlier this year was sharply critical of Gonen who was removed from his Sinai command shortly after the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War on Oct. 6,1973. Gonen contended that information contained in a diary or logbook of a division commanded by Gen. Avraham Adan could clear his name, but that the diary submitted to the Agranat Committee was a forgery written after the war. He also alleged that erasures were made on tapes of communications recorded on Oct. 8. 1973, a crucial day when Israeli forces attempted to counter-attack the advancing Egyptians.
Adan, who is presently the Military Attache at the Israeli Embassy in Washington said that his testimony before the Agranat panel damaging to Gonen was based on material other than the diary and tapes. Adan offered to return here to help up the matter but was ordered by Chief of Staff Gen. Mordechai Gur to remain at his post.
Agranat stated in his letter to Peres that there was no reason to summon Adan to give further testimony. The Supreme Court Justice also lashed out at the mass media for sensationalizing the missing diary rumors and for publishing information “contrary to security needs:”