Tnuva CEO Eyal Malis is being questioned by Israel Police under caution about suspected involvement in alleged bribes given to the assistant of Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman. There are suspicions that Malis was involved in giving bribes from the Tnuva food processing company by contributing to NGOs associated with Motti Babchik, a senior aide to Litzman. Yesterday "Globes" reported that a senior employee of Tnuva has said when being questioned under caution that Malis had been solely responsible for approving the donations.
Sources close to the investigation told "Globes" that the senior Tnuva employee said that she had no idea what was being done with the money and she quit when she found out that things were going on behind her back. Before today, Malis had been openly giving his version of events but was not being questioned under caution.
The suspicions against Tnuva relate to alleged bribery in the form of donations to non-profit organizations associated with the Gur sect in order to promote the interests of the company in the Ministry of Health in connection with legislation sponsored by the ministry on marking of food products with high sugar, sodium, and fat content, which came into force on January1, 2020.
Adv. Ilan Sofer, who represents Malis said, "Tnuva, under the management of Eyal Malis, has worked and is working only in the framework of the law. I am convinced that at the end of the investigation those in charge of the investigation will also be convinced of this. Eyal Malis plans to continue to be available to the investigative authorities and to cooperate with them, as required.
Adv. Eyal Besserglick who represents the unnamed senior Tnuva employee said, "As we have said in the past, my client is in no way connected to the affair or to the donations of the company. It was clear that her name has been unjustifiably mixed up in the affair and she knows nothing about anything that was improper."
The criminal investigation is at an early stage. The suspects deny the allegations against them, and they are entitled to the presumption of innocence.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 8, 2021
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021