Mandelblit to Check Alleged Police Wrongdoing in Case 4000

YERUSHALAYIM -
netanyahu
Nir Chefetz seen at the Magistrate’s Court in Rishon LeTzion. (Flash90, File)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Tuesday said he would look into possible wrongdoing by investigators in the cases involving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, after a news report Monday raised questions about police conduct during the questioning of a key state witness, as well as the accuracy of his testimony.

Channel 12 on Monday shared transcripts of statements by Nir Chefetz, in which he spoke of trouble accurately remembering details of the case, changed his testimony on several occasions and mentioned meetings that apparently did not take place.

Chefetz was a former Netanyahu spokesman and confidant and serves as a key witness in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is suspected of pushing decisions financially benefiting the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, in return for positive news coverage.

Chefetz turned state witness after being arrested and questioned over a two-week period, and is believed to have provided prosecutors with key information as the man between Netanyahu and Bezeq’s Shaul Elovitch.

Channel 12 revealed that Chefetz may have been pressured through illegitimate means to cause him to turn against Netanyahu. It said another person with no ties to Case 4000 was brought in by police and questioned in order to pressure Chefetz to sign an agreement with authorities, and that Chefetz indeed did so following this move by police.

The report said that Chefetz backtracked several times on his previous statements on certain details and amended them when presented with contradictory information.

On Tuesday, Mandelblit said that “if it is found that illegitimate actions were carried out during the handling of the cases, the issue will be reviewed and dealt with accordingly.”

He added that police investigators had made it absolutely clear to state witnesses “that they are required to state only truth,” and said he felt confident that “the statements given by state witnesses were given freely and willingly.”

On Friday, Channel 12 and Channel 13 reported that Mandelblit would be holding discussions this week with the aim of reaching a decision by the end of the month on whether to file charges against Netanyahu in three probes, of which Case 4000 is the most serious.