Lawsuit Asks: Why Won’t Mandelblit Investigate Gantz Over Business Dealings?

benny gantz
Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz (Avshalom Shoshoni/Flash90, File)

State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit is busy investigating Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – which is perhaps why he hasn’t found time to conduct an investigation into Blue and White party head Benny Gantz, over his role in the bankruptcy of high-tech company Hameimad Hachamishi. The State Attorney’s Office and the State Prosecutor, in response to a lawsuit, asked the High Court for an extension until November 22nd to answer why they have not opened an investigation into Gantz.

The case revolves around a report by former State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, who said that there had been a “troubling relationship” between the company and Israel Police. The report was released two weeks before the April election, and relates to the period when Gantz was CEO of the company.

The report also discusses a company – thought to be Hameimad Hachamishi – that offered police an artificial intelligence system to identify criminals. Police eventually committed to buying the system, without the requisite tender or the approval of state committees, as required.

The lawsuit was filed by the Lavie organization, after it asked Mandelblit to investigate a report in Haaretz that described the deal and named Hameimad Hachamishi as the company that offered the system. The lawsuit alleges that Gantz used influence-peddling to get then Police Chief Roni Alsheich to approve the sale.

Mandelblit ignored the request, and the organization filed a High Court petition demanding to know why. The court gave Mandelblit until October 22nd to respond, and his response was to ask for a further postponement.

Attorney Yitzchak Bam, a member of the Likud Central Committee, signed on to the petition. Speaking to Yisrael Hayom, he said that “it is very strange how this matter, which has been before the State Attorney for many months, has not yet been investigated. When it comes to other matters, a whole battery of prosecutors leave no stone unturned in order to incriminate individuals and turn them into state witnesses.”