Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting on March 11, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
In his next round of questioning on Case 4000, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to be asked whether he was involved in obstructing the investigation, Channel 2 News reported on Monday.
The report quoted legal sources who said Netanyahu’s close adviser Nir Hefetz, who recently turned state’s witness in the case, ordered text messages deleted that could indicate influence over Walla’s coverage of the investigation, and he might not have operated on his own but received directions or approval from a higher authority.
In addition to asking him about his involvement in the case, the police are planning to check if Netanyahu “knew about the obstruction that took place before the investigation started,” the report said.
Otherwise known as the “Bezeq case,” Case 4000 looks into the relations between Netanyahu and Bezeq telecommunications company controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch. Police suspect Netanyahu acted to benefit Bezeq in return for positive coverage on the Walla news website, which is also controlled by Elovitch.
On Monday, Yediot Aharonot
reported that Hefetz ordered Elovitch and his wife, Iris, “to delete the text messages from Sara,” which could indicate the pressure for favorable coverage for the Netanyahus.
The report said Hefetz destroyed his personal cellphone, which had text messages and recordings that could prove the connection between different figures who are involved in the case. However, when he signed the state’s-witness deal, Hefetz revealed he had saved copies of these recordings on other devices, according to the Yediot Aharonot
When the first set of investigations in Cases 1000 and 2000 were launched more than a year ago
, the “inner circle of the prime minister” sent Hefetz to “clean up,” which meant deleting text messages that were sent from Sara Netanyahu and to destroy phones, the report said.
One of the people involved in the case was quoted in the report as saying: “It was an act of obstruction that was committed like a serious criminal... Someone who has nothing to hide doesn’t work this way.”
The Prime Minister Office responded to the Yediot Aharonot
report by saying: “Leaking information from an investigation, even if it is a false claim, is the true attempt to obstruct the investigation... The prime minister is acting and always acted in accordance with the law. The claims on obstruction are rubbish. No obstruction, no nothing.”
The police did not comment on The Jerusalem Post
’s request to confirm the report by press time.