Case 4000: Netanyahu confidant reportedly to turn state's witness

Netanyahu says the case is "madness" and "a witch hunt against me and my family."

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February 20, 2018 21:54
2 minute read.

PM Netanyahu reacts to claims against him in Case 4000 (Facebook-Benjamin Netanyahu)

PM Netanyahu reacts to claims against him in Case 4000 (Facebook-Benjamin Netanyahu)

Shlomo Filber, the suspended director-general of the Communication Ministry and former associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, signed a deal with police early Wednesday morning to become a state’s witness as part of the “Bezeq-media” corruption case, otherwise known as Case 4000.

Police started questioning Filber already on Wednesday, and are expected to continue doing so in the coming days.

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Filber told his interrogators that while acting to benefit Bezeq and its controlling shareholder, Shaul Elovitch, he was doing so at the behest of the prime minister, Channel 2 News reported.

“I was carrying out Netanyahu’s direct orders. I wasn’t using my own judgment,” Filber was quoted as saying. “I was given detailed instructions. He clarified who should be taken care of, and how.

“I understand now that they were taking advantage of me,” he added.

Reports hold that Filber’s testimony will incriminate the prime minister.

The premier appointed Filber as the Communication Ministry’s director-general after the last election, when Netanyahu decided to keep that portfolio for himself.

It was reported that as part of the state’s witness deal, Filber’s criminal charges would be erased; he would be reprimanded by the Civil Service Commission, and be banned from working for the state.

Case 4000 looks into the relationship between Netanyahu and Elovitch, who also owns the Walla! News website. Police suspect that Netanyahu acted to benefit Bezeq in return for favorable coverage in Walla.

Netanyahu is expected to be questioned with regards to the case, possibly as soon as next week, according to Channel 10 News.

One of the main suspects in the corruption case is Netanyahu’s former communications adviser Nir Hefetz, who is also close to the Netanyahu family.

Hefetz is suspected of accepting bribes and obstruction of justice.

Hefetz was confronted and questioned on Wednesday together with Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua.

It was previously reported that Yeshua told police as part of his testimony that he was pressured to fire Walla editor- in-chief Aviram Elad after Elad approved posting an article on the so-called “Submarine Affair,” which “the Netanyahu couple didn’t like.”

According to the report, Yeshua said that after the article was published in November 2016, Sara Netanyahu started looking into Elad’s background and found an article he wrote in which he expressed his support for the Iran nuclear deal that her husband opposed.

The couple then turned to Elovitch and asked him to fire Elad. Elovitch relayed that to Yeshua, who rejected the demand.

Also on Wednesday, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended by six days the remand of Bezeq CEO Stella Handler and of Bezeq senior official Amikan Shorer, who are both suspects in the case.

Judge Ronit Poznanski-Katz said in her decision that after the gag order was lifted from this case, “it could be said in full confidence that this case entails a well-based suspicion – and even beyond that – of severe bribery.

On Thursday the court will discuss whether to extend the remand of Elovitch.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.


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