Fresh from its multi-year investigation into corruption in which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was allegedly involved, the State Prosecutor’s Office has begun investigating Netanyahu’s rival, Benny Gantz, over his role in the bankruptcy of high-tech company Hameimad Hachamishi. The investigation comes after several rightwing groups filed a petition with the High Court demanding to know why the case was not being pursued.
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 Ha’aretz 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 Alshich to approve the sale. Mandelblit ignored the request, and the organization filed a High Court petition demanding to know why.
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.”