By Udi Shaham
Suspended Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, signed a state’s witness deal on Tuesday night as part of police investigation Case 4000.
Filber is reportedly suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and other offenses, it was revealed on Tuesday.
He allegedly was Netanyahu’s “long-arm” in this case, and acted in his name in several deals that were allegedly done with the Bezeq telecommunications company and an attempt to sell the Walla media outlet. Filber’s testimony is reportedly expected to incriminate the prime minister.
The Justice Ministry refused to confirm or deny the report.
The state’s witness deal that is on offer to Filber does not include time in prison, said a Kan – Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation report.
Case 4000, otherwise known as the “Bezeq case,” looks into the relationship between Netanyahu and Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch, who also owns the Walla! News website. Police suspect that Netanyahu acted to benefit Bezeq in return for favorable coverage in Walla.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that one of the suspects who was arrested in the case earlier this week is former Netanyahu media consultant Nir Hefetz, who is suspected of accepting bribes and obstruction of justice.
Elovitch is reportedly suspected of giving bribes through favorable coverage in Walla, in return for Communication Ministry benefits for Bezeq.
Bezeq CEO Stella Handler was also arrested on Sunday as a suspect in the case. She is reportedly suspected of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice. Handler will attend a court discussion on Wednesday on whether to extend her remand.
Police and the Israel Securities Authority, which are conducting a joint investigation, continued collecting testimonies on Tuesday. Deputy Communications Ministry director-general Maymon Shmila; former Walla editor in chief (and former MK) Yinon Magal; Likud spokesman Shai Hayek; and Walla news editor Michal Klein were all questioned on Tuesday.
Before reports on Filber’s possible state’s witness deal broke, Netanyahu posted a video in his Facebook account, saying that the past couple of days were “complete madness as part of the witch-hunt” against him and his family.
“This is outrageous,” he said. “They are bringing two hallucinatory, false claims as part of the witch-hunt against me and my family that has been going on for years.”
“Regarding Bezeq – all of the decisions on Bezeq are made by professional committees, by officials with close legal supervision. This is not the Wild West. We cannot make our own calls. All the decisions are transparent and being looked over. That’s why the claim that I acted in favor of Bezeq at the expense of professional considerations is baseless,” he said.
Netanyahu then said that “it could no longer be ignored that this is a witch-hunt.”
“When the air runs out of [police cases]1000 [the ‘gifts affair’]and 2000 [the ‘Yediot Aharonot affair’], and when we found out that in [case]3000 [the ‘submarine affair’]there was no air in the first place – they create new cases. They create a case every two hours,” he said.
“They bring associates, they questioned them. Later we see a flood of false leaks, and we know what their goal is – to force the creation of a ‘cloud of suspicions’ over the head of the prime minister,” he said.
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.
This article (Case 4000: Benjamin Netanyahu confidant signs state’s witness deal) was originally published on Jerusalem Post and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.