Judge Ronit Poznanski-Katz released senior Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) group executives from house arrest in a hearing last Friday. The hearing concerned three Bezeq cases: one in which Bezeq's affairs were promoted in the Ministry of Communications and two in which deals were approved in Bezeq: Bezeq's acquisition of all the shares in DBS Satellite Services (1998) Ltd. (YES) and Bezeq's purchase of satellite services from Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC).
Advocate Eran Shacham-Shavit, representing the Israel Securities Authority, which is conducting the investigation, asked the Court to bar Bezeq group controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch from the offices of Spacecom for two weeks (until August 8) and from the offices of Bezeq and Yes for 90 days. He also requested various restrictions on Elovitch. Poznanski-Katz granted the request, but ruled that Elovitch would be barred from Bezeq and Yes for 60 days, not 90 days. She also barred Elovitch from contacting employees and officeholders in these companies and those involved in the affair for 60 days, but allowed him to contact his son, Or Elovitch, and his daughter-in-law, Orna Elovitch-Peled, on matters not relating to the investigation.
The judge also ruled that Elovitch had to refrain from dealing in Yes's business from two months, and that he had to refrain from regular activity in Bezeq. He can attend meetings on the Bezeq group's offices only with advance permission from the Securities Authority and when accompanied by a supervisor.
In view of the agreement by the parties, it was agreed at the beginning of the hearing that Bezeq CEO Stella Handler would be conditionally released from house arrest, and could resume her position. She is subject to severe restrictions for the next 60 days, however; among other things, she is barred from dealing in regulatory matters in the company. It was also ruled that Or Elovitch would be barred from Yes's offices for a month and from Spacecom's offices until August 4. He is also forbidden to contact Bezeq and Yes employees for 60 days.
Bezeq strategy and business development manager Amikam Shorer was released from house arrest, but barred from the offices of Yes and Spacecom for 60 days. Bezeq company secretary Advocate Linor Yochelman will also be released from house arrest, but barred from Bezeq's offices for a month.
Shacham-Shavit based the Securities Authority's request for restrictions on Elovitch on specific acts listed in a secret report submitted to the judge. "The acts relate to his position in the companies, his status, and his relations with the others involved," Shacham-Shavit stressed. "It is difficult to trust some of his employees, because they consistently acted under the radar of the watchdog. There are contradictions in the different versions, and the Court has seen the evidence for suspected obstruction of justice."
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on July 23, 2017
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