Netanyahu Attorney: News Site ‘Pay For Play’ Case Has Collapsed

YERUSHALAYIM -

In an interview on Reshet Bet, Amit Hadad, one of the attorneys working with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the various investigations he is involved in, said that at least one of those cases – the so-called “Bezeq Case,” or Case 4000 – in which associates of Netanyahu are accused of providing benefits for former Bezeq chairman Shaul Elovich in return for favors, specifically in exchange for positive coverage on the Walla news site, owned, like Bezeq, by Elovich’s holding company – has “collapsed,” he said.

“The alleged deal claimed that Elovich offered Netanyahu a deal, saying ‘you cut down on regulations for me and I will give you good coverage, never happened,” Hadad said. “It turns out that there was no relaxation of regulations and no good coverage. We believe that the case will be closed. There is nothing to investigate here.”

Hadad said that an investigation of the facts regarding the most critical period for Netanyahu – when he really could have used some good coverage – was during the week before the 2015 elections, when Netanyahu was behind in the polls. “At that time, Netanyahu got terrible coverage on Walla,” said Hadad. “At the same time the head of the Shin Bet said in the media that Netanyahu had failed, and was evading responsibility, and the head of the Mossad said in a top headline that Netanyahu was endangering Israeli security. There was almost no positive coverage to speak of.” Elovich and Netanyahu never met after the election, either, he added.

Among the accusations in the case were that Netanyahu fired the Director-General of the Communications Ministry in order to install Shlomo Filber, a confidante of Netanyahu, in order to “help out” Elovich. In response, Hadad said that “when a new minister enters his office, he often fires the previous Director-General. Even the Attorney General recognizes and authorizes this, and it happens 99.9 percent of the time that a new minister takes over.” Hadad stressed that in his testimony, Filber never said that there was any deal, he added.