Securities Authority close to concluding Bezeq probe

Shaul Elovitch Photo: Eli Yizhar

The case will shortly be handed over to the State Attorney for a decision on whether to file indictments.

The Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) investigation is in the final stages, and the case will shortly be handed to the State Attorney for a decision on whether to file indictments against the main suspects. These include Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch; Or Elovitch, his son; Bezeq CEO Stella Handler; Amikam Shorer, a director in Bezeq group companies, Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC), and DBS Satellite Services (1998) Ltd. (YES); and Yes comptroller Oren Bergman and head of the economics department Yaron Raanan.

This was the substance of the Israel Securities Authority's statement to the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court in the framework of a number of consensual petitions to extend the restrictions imposed on the main suspects in the affair. This statement is significant, because the Securities Authority believes that it has enough evidence to file indictments against the suspects in the case. The restrictive conditions were extended until November 1, 2017 with the agreement of the suspects' lawyers.

The petitions were filed by Advocate Eran Shacham-Shavit, the investigations department legal advisor. They include an extension of the restrictions on contacts between the suspects in the affair and the ban on them leaving the country. A few restrictions on the suspects however, were lifted. Elovitch was allowed to contact acting Bezeq chairman David Granot, CFO Yaheli Rotenberg, and other parties in the company in order to attend to Bezeq's regular business.

The Bezeq-Yes affair, which began as an investigation of alleged irregularities in the deal whereby Bezeq bought the shares of Eurocom, which Elovitch controls, in satellite broadcaster Yes, intensified and branched out into three affairs: one dealing with the removal of confidential documents and materials, one involving suspicions concerning the behavior of senior executives and officeholders involving party at interest transactions, and one concerning reporting violations and corruption, involving Ministry of Communications director general Shlomo Filber. All the affairs involve suspicions that various officeholders, both in Bezeq companies and in the public service, were used to promote the personal interests of Bezeq's controlling shareholder.

Advocates Jack Chen and Michal Ozer-Rosen, the lawyers representing Shaul Elovitch, said, "We agreed to the Securities Authority's petition to extend the conditions slightly, including for the Jewish holidays, while the Securities Authority agreed to significantly relax the restrictions."

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on September 17, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Shaul Elovitch Photo: Eli Yizhar
Shaul Elovitch Photo: Eli Yizhar
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