Published On: Thu, Feb 22nd, 2018

Bezeq’s Controlling Shareholder Recorded Ordering Walla News CEO to Treat Netanyahu Favorably

Walla's CEO recorded Elovitch ordering him to provide Netanyahu and his family with flattering coverage; The tape convinced Communications Ministry Director-General to become state's witness.

PM Netanyahu and Shlomo Filber Reuters, Orel Cohen

PM Under Investigation: Ilan Yeshua, the CEO of the Walla website, has provided police investigators in recent days with recordings in which Bezeq’s controlling shareholder, Shaul Elovitch, is heard pressuring him to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family flattering coverage.

The Elovitch recordings provided the breakthrough in the investigation of Case 4000, in which the police are looking into suspicions that Elovitch and Bezeq received regulatory benefits from the Communications Ministry in return for the favorable coverage.

In his recent testimonies to the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and the police’s Lahav 433 Unit, Yeshua indicated that he planned to cooperate with the investigators and reveal how Elovitch pressured him and issued editing instructions for the website.

They were astounded, however, when Yeshua told them that he had realized the pressure was inappropriate and begun recording his conversations with Elovitch. When Yeshua presented the first recording to the investigators, their jaws dropped as they heard Elovitch issuing the explicit order.

Filber in court. The recording 'broke his resistance' (Photo Motti Kimchi) case 4000

Filber: Glad to come full circle

A source in the law enforcement system said that the recordings “was one of the main things that broke down Shlomo Filber’s resistance and led to the state’s witness agreement,” after Filber realized what had been taking place behind his back while he provided Elovitch with benefits as the Communications Ministry director-general.

The source added that after his decision to cooperate with the police, Filber shook hands with the ISA investigators, who he was familiar with from his previous interrogations, and said: “I’m glad to come full circle with you.”

`Meanwhile Wednesday, Yeshua was forced to confront Elovitch and Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former media advisor, as part of the ongoing corruption investigation.


Netanyahu: End of Era

Yeshua that Hefetz was the mediator in the Prime Minister’s Office and that Elovitch asked him to be in contact with him.

Police investigators brought Elovitch into the interrogation room and asked Yeshua, among other things, to repeat his testimony, according to which Elovitch gave the explicit order to portray the Netanyahu family in a more positive light.

During the exchange, police presented Hefetz with the claims that Yeshua had made in his testimony and asked him if they were true.

“Everything I have to say I answered you in the open testimony,” he responded in the Lahav 443 fraud investigation unit in Lod next to the investigators from the Israel Police and the Israel Securities Authority.

Elovitch is suspected of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Hefetz is suspected of taking bribes and obstructing justice.

The police are expected to ask the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Thursday afternoon to keep Hefetz, Elovitch, his wife Iris and his son Or in custody.

On Wednesday, the court extended Filber’s remand by 15 days. The remand of Bezeq CEO Stella Handler’s and the company’s Strategy and Business Development Manager Amikam Shorer by was extended by six days each.

“Now that the gag order has been removed, I can say unequivocally that this case raises reasonable suspicion and is based on even more serious corruption, everyone with his share, everyone with his own condition,” said Judge Ronit Pozanski-Katz when extending the remand.

“The acts were allegedly carried out by senior officials in the government and Bezeq,” she said.

Handler, who was expected to be brought to trial after the first part of the case, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of giving bribes, Offenses under the Securities Law, fraud, disrupting legal process and breach of trust.

By Ynet News

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