Israeli Media Outlets to Be Indicted on Charges Related to Netanyahu Corruption Cases

Shaul Elovitch, a co-defendant with Netanyahu, also faces possible new charges related to Bezeq’s merger with the Yes satellite TV firm

Gur Megiddo
Gur Megiddo
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / Walla! House, Tel Aviv.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / Walla! House, Tel Aviv. Credit: Ofer Vaknin / AP
Gur Megiddo
Gur Megiddo

The State Prosecutor’s Office announced its intention on Wednesday – subject to a pre-indictment hearing – to charge Walla and the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, both of which are at the center of the corruption charges pending against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The prime minister is on trial on three matters, including cases dubbed Cases 2000 and 4000, which relate to Walla, Bezeq and Yedioth Ahronoth.

Indictments were also filed a number of defendants in connection with the merger of Bezeq telecommunications and the Yes satellite television firm.

Shaul and Iris Elovitch attending a court hearing, 2018. Credit: Moti Milrod

The investigation of the case gave rise to a separate criminal investigation and the Netanyahu's indictment over allegations that he provided Bezeq with advantageous government regulatory policy in exchange for favorable media coverage on Bezeq’s Walla News website.

In Case 2000, it is alleged that Netanyahu engaged in discussions that were taped with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes in which the prime minister offered legislation favorable to the newspaper in return for positive news coverage.

Case 4000 is the case involving news coverage on the Walla news website. Shaul Elovitch, who was Bezeq’s controlling shareholder at the time, Elovich’s wife, Iris, and Mozes are co-defendants in the trial against the prime minister. All four deny any wrongdoing.

In the new indictments filed on Wednesday in connection with the merger of Bezeq and Walla, the defendants include Shaul Elovich and his son Or and a number of former senior executives at Bezeq and Yes. The charges include aggravated fraud, fraud, breach of trust and securities law reporting violations.

In its announcement Wednesday, the prosecutor’s office stated its intention to indict corporate entities Yedioth Aharonoth and Walla as well as Eurocom group companies through which Elovich controlled Bezeq, subject to a prior hearing. The Elovich group companies are suspected of bribery and money laundering, while Yedioth Aharonoth is accused of offering a bribe.

If following the pre-indictment hearing, the prosecution decides to indict the two corporations, it is unclear whether they would be tried separately from the Netanyahu trial, which is scheduled to begin the evidentiary phase in January.

The prime minister might now seek a delay in the proceeding due to the future hearings against the corporations. The prosecution would be expected to oppose any delay.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

People taking part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, between the former death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, four years ago.

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

 A Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, Poland.

Israel and Poland Fight Over History, Truth - and Israeli Students

A collage of the Bentwich family throughout the generations.

Unique Burial Plot in Jerusalem Tells Story of Extraordinary Jewish Dynasty