ISA recommends indictments in Bezeq affair

Shaul Elovitch Photo: Eli Yizhar

The file on alleged fraud by Bezeq senior managers and collusion by government officials is now with the Tel Aviv District Attorney.

Israel Securities Authority (ISA) chairman Shmuel Hauser today ordered that the file on the ISA investigation of Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Co. Ltd. (TASE: BEZQ) should be transferred to Tel Aviv District Attorney's Office taxation and economic division.

The ISA opened an overt investigation in this case in June 2017, following a covert investigation by its Investigations, Intelligence and Market Surveillance Department. The investigation was into suspected criminal offences, among them reporting offences, fraudulent receiving, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in a corporation, and obstruction of justice.

After a complex and ramified investigation covering several allegations, the Investigations, Intelligence and Market Surveillance Department reached the conclusion that an evidentiary basis exists establishing the involvement of the main suspects in the alleged offences.

The investigation was into the behavior of senior managers at Bezeq, satellite broadcaster Yes, and Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. (TASE:SCC), and that of civil servants whose roles included dealings with Bezeq.

At the center of the affair is the allegation that Bezeq, controlled by chairman Shaul Elovitch, bought the shares in Yes owned by Eurocom, which is privately held by Elovitch, at an exaggerated price. The investigation 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.

On the basis of the ISA investigation, the District Attorney's Office will have to decide whether to indict, among others: Elovitch; his son Or Elovitch; Bezeq CEO Stella Handler; Amikam Shorer, who served as a director of Bezeq, Spacecom and Yes; Yes financial controller Oren Bergman and head of its economic department Yaron Raanan; Filber; Filber's personal assistant Adi Kahan-Gonen.   

Elovitch's legal counsel Adv. Jack Chen and Adv. Michal Rosen said in response: "Now that the file has been transferred to the District Attorney's Office the right thing is to be patient and wait for the truth to come to light. We have not a shadow of a doubt that no offence was committed and that this is what will be found."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 6, 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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