Coalition Chairman: ‘Only Low People Become State Witnesses’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Amsalem
MK David Amsalem. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Coalition chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) on Wednesday slammed the agreement signed by former Communications Ministry Director General Shlomo Filber with the state to testify against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “A state witness is a very low creature,” he told Reshet Bet.

“It is highly immoral,” Amsalem said. “Usually, the people who sign these deals are criminals, often a chief suspect in a case. The authorities toss him a bone, telling him they will leave him alone if he testifies against others. You have to tread very lightly with these people. They are not the kind of people you would go into business with.”

Filber signed a deal with state prosecutors to testify against Netanyahu in Case 4000, in which associates of Netanyahu are accused of providing benefits for former Bezeq chairman Shaul Elovich in return for favors. Filber was apparently the main culprit in the case, personally providing documents and favors to Elovich, and promoting legislation and rule changes to benefit Bezeq. As a close associate of Netanyahu, Filber is expected to supply information on Netanyahu’s role in the affair, if any. Police have said that as part of the deal, Netanyahu received positive coverage on the Walla news site, owned, like Bezeq, by Elovich’s holding company.

According to media reports, Filber was promised that if he is indicted and convicted in the affair, he would not have to serve jail time. In a statement Tuesday night, Netanyahu dismissed the accusations as “shocking. What has been happening in the past two days is a breakdown of the system. They have dug up two new accusations against me and my family, part of the campaign that has been going on for years.”

Any benefits for Bezeq, he said, were approved by numerous government and professional committees, approved by legal authorities. “This is not the Wild West, no one is making personal decisions. All the decisions were properly and transparently made. Any claims that I acted on behalf of Bezeq are absolutely ridiculous.” The previous investigations against him are going nowhere, Netanyahu said, “so they have to come up with a new case, within hours. They question associates of mine, leak information, and all of the sudden we have a ‘case.’ The point, of course, is to publicly damage my reputation. What is happening is unbelievable.”

In the interview, Bitan also slammed police. “Every day, it seems, they are starting a new investigation. Who can handle a pace like this? How many investigations can the prime minister stand? He may be made of steel, but in the end he is human, too. The way the investigations are being handled – unsupervised, with police doing whatever they want – are a greater scandal than anything Netanyahu is accused of.”