Former Netanyahu media adviser Nir Hefetz.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
The Israel Police has denied reports saying that Nir Hefetz, who recently turned state’s witness in the “Bezeq affair,” gave investigators incriminating material against senior Likud officials, including two cabinet members.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the police said: “For understandable reasons, the Israel Police does not tend to constantly deny disinformation running in the media or in social networks. But in this sensitive case, and because of its importance to the public, we chose to inform the public that so far no such information, or information similar to it, was given to the Israel Police.
“Every detail published about the investigation can harm them and also violate a court gag order. The Israel Police, in cooperation with the state attorney and the attorney-general, will continue to conduct this investigation thoroughly and professionally, with integrity, in order to find the truth.”
In the Bezeq case, otherwise known as Case 4000, investigators are examining the relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the telecom giant’s controlling shareholder, Shaul Elovitch.
Police suspect that Netanyahu used his power to benefit Bezeq in return for favorable coverage on the Walla news website, which is also controlled by Elovitch.
PM Netanyahu reacts to claims against him in Case 4000 (Facebook-Benjamin Netanyahu)
A source close to the investigation said Hefetz’s testimony to police will not open any new case and applies only to the existing probes: Case 1000 (“the gifts affair”), Case 2000 (the “Yediot Aharonot affair”) and Case 4000 (the “Bezeq affair”), Channel 2 News reported on Thursday.
It will take weeks until Hefetz finishes giving his information to the police, the source said.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu explained why he lashed out harshly on Wednesday against law-enforcement authorities. In a video posted on Facebook, Netanyahu said the police are pressuring people to lie and “talk trash” about him in return for immunity.
“I have only one thing to say: We are being attacked all the time, every hour, every minute,” he told the media while visiting UN headquarters in New York on Thursday. “The prime minister is also allowed to speak out for justice. I will not be silent, and I will say the truth. And moreover, I will tell you the truth that maybe for some is not pleasant to hear, [which is that there] is public support for me, my wife, my family. I do not remember such [widespread] support.”