The issue faced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is deepening with the arrest of a number of his close associates regarding the growing gratification investigation. One of those arrested was a former spokesman for Netanyahu's family.
The arrest was made less than a week since the Israeli police claimed they had enough evidence to indict Netanyahu over allegations of fraud, bribery and breach of trust. As reported by CNN Tuesday (20/2/2018), Israeli police have revealed that they have arrested seven people over allegations of impeding investigation, fraud, breach of trust and a number of other indictments.
Those arrested, referred to as believers or people close to Netanyahu. Two of them are Nir Hefetz who is a former spokesperson for the Netanyahu family and Shaul Elovitch who is a multi-millionaire owner of an Israeli media company considered a close associate of Netanyahu.
The arrest was made on Sunday (18 / 2) local time, after a joint investigation between the police and the Israeli Security Authority (ISA), which conducted its own investigation last year. In court documents filed with the Tel Aviv Tribunal, the judge, who in his decision detained one of the suspects, said there was a "major development" in the investigation. But the judge did not explain the progress in question.
Netanyahu has not been named a suspect in a recent investigation, which the local public calls the '4000 case' or 'Bezeq case'. Bezeq is an Israeli telecommunications company in the center of the investigation.
In this case, the charges focus on the practice of conspiring senior Bezeq officials with the Israeli Ministry of Communications to benefit Bezeq. One of them fabricated a total receipt of 170 million shekels to benefit Elovitch. Instead, Netanyahu and his family got positive reviews from Elovitch's online media, named Walla! News.
The arrest of seven Netanyahu-linked men is seen increasingly bringing police to Netanyahu, who has repeatedly denied any violation of the law. Hefetz was arrested on charges of obstructing investigations and accepting bribes. Hefetz through his lawyer has denied this accusation.
While Elovitch is charged with fraud, bribery, money laundering, breach of corporate trust and several other charges. Like Hefetz, Elovicth also denied the charges through his lawyer. Elovitch is known to own the cable company 'Yes' and control the shareholders of Bezeq.
In addition to the two names, the five others arrested were Elovitch's wife and boys, Iris and Or, Elovitch's right hand, Amikam Shorer, then CEO of Bezeq Stella Handler and Former Director General of the Ministry of Communications of Israel Shlomo Filber. It is known that Netanyahu has served as Israel's Communications Minister. Filber served under Netanyahu.
Case 4000 is the fourth case that dragged Netanyahu and those close to him. The other three cases are 1000 cases, 2000 cases and 3000 cases. Netanyahu has been named as a suspect in the first two cases. A third case investigation or 3000 case is still continuing. The case involved the purchase of German assault vessels and submarines for millions of dollars.
(nvc / ita)