This morning, Israel Police and the Israel Securities Authority (ISA) arrested senior Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) managers on what was described as "suspicion of committing additional offences". This dramatic development follows the inclusion of the Israel Police in the investigation, which had previously been handled by the ISA alone.
A gag order has been placed on further details of the investigation at this stage, but it can be reported that new evidence has been found raising suspicions of additional offences. The current gag order is in force for 48 hours.
Nevertheless, the legal counsel of the suspended director general of the Ministry of Communications, Shlomo Filber, who has already been detained and questioned in the Bezeq affair, and even suspended from his post, confirmed that Filber is among those arrested today.
Up to now, the ISA had found an evidentiary basis for indicting senior managers in the Bezeq group, among them controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch and CEO Stella Handler, and Filber, on a series of charges involving actions that allegedly benefitted Elovitch at the expense of the other shareholders. The further investigations, involving the police as well, related to the suspicion that Bezeq had been given benefits by, among others, associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and to favorable coverage of the prime minister by the Walla! News website, which is part of the group.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 18, 2018
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