Israel High Court asked to bring PM Netanyahu into Bezeq case

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Prime Minister ‘should be a person of interest’ in investigation into Bezeq takeover of satellite operator

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been brought into a fraud investigation into telecoms operator Bezeq.

No one is suggesting Netanyahu is guilty of any offence, but Israel’s High Court is being petitioned to investigate him as someone close to two people who are implicated.

According to The Times of Israel, the Israeli Securities Authority (ISA) has handed to the public prosecutor what it said was compelling evidence against the heads of Bezeq after an investigation that has implicated two figures considered close to Netanyahu.

The petition asks the High Court to order the Attorney General to explain “why Netanyahu himself is not a person of interest in the investigation”, says the newspaper. The Prime Minister appointed Shlomo Filber, the head of the communications ministry, and is “close to Bezeq owner Shaul Elovitch”, it added. Netanyahu was also communications minister at the time.

Others involved, says the newspaper, include Bezeq CEO Stella Handler and Ron Ayalon, the CEO of the Yes satellite TV company, which is owned by Bezeq.

ISA head Shmuel Hauser told the Times of Israel that he found “strong evidence supporting the initial suspicions of criminal offences, including violations of the securities law, fraud, breach of trust and obstructing legal proceedings.” Part of the case revolves around Bezeq’s takeover of Yes.

A lawyer for Elovitch said no crimes had been committed.