Former IDF chief of staff and Blue and White Party Leader Benny Gantz speaks following the March 14 rocket launches towards central Israel, 2019..
(photo credit: YANIR COZIN / MAARIV)
State Comptroller spokesman Shlomo Raz told Army Radio on Thursday that there will be no criminal charges against Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz or his company The Fifth Dimension regarding their conduct of business with the police.
On Wednesday, State Comptroller Joseph Shapira issued a report saying that the police had acted improperly in granting Gantz's Fifth Dimension company a deal to produce a technological solution without following the standard competitive bidding process.
More specifically, the report said that the company made three misleading statements in selling the police to get them to grant Fifth Dimension the deal.
Despite those allegations, Raz said that Gantz and Fifth Dimension was not included in 18 allegations against the police which he referred to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit for potential criminal investigation.
Late Wednesday, the Likud Party called for a criminal investigation of Gantz's actions.
Though Raz did not explain why there would be no criminal probe, it is possible to make civil fraud misrepresentations which do not implicate criminal liability.
In addition, the comptroller did not get to review Fifth Dimension's own documents to see if they in fact made the misrepresentations, or if someone within the police cooked them up on their own to help Gantz's company get the deal.
The Fifth Dimension had middlemen who were former top senior police officials, who might have gotten special treatment from police - and Gantz himself was allowed to be present during internal police discussions about who to grant the deal to.
In the end, Gantz's company was paid only NIS 4 million of the NIS 50 million it might have gotten for the full deal, since his company only carried out a pilot program before going bankrupt.
The company went bankrupt after its main investor, a Russian tycoon close to President Vladimir Putin, was sanctioned by the US government.
Mandelblit's office has confirmed receipt of the Likud complaint against Gantz, but has not given the impression that his office is rushing to act on the issue, especially without a criminal complaint from the comptroller.
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