Probe Into Fifth Dimension Gets Green Light

YERUSHALAYIM -
benny gantz
Benny Gantz at a campaign event Monday in Tel Aviv. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

State prosecutors have been given the go-ahead to open a criminal investigation into a high-tech company formerly owned by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, according to media reports on Thursday evening.

The decision followed a recommendation last year by the state comptroller to probe a deal made between the cybersecurity firm Fifth Dimension, which has since gone bankrupt, and the Israeli police to provide the latter with software for its operations without a tender, as required by law.

Gantz and then-chief of police Roni Alshich, are reportedly not under suspicion of wrongdoing, though they will likely be called to testify. The focus reportedly will be on employees of the now-defunct company.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s office approved acting state attorney Dan Eldad’s recommendation to proceed with the investigation.

Regarding Gantz’s role in alleged illegalities, there has been no direct official statement. However, a letter from a Mandelblit aide published Thursday was taken as an indication that he is not a target of the investigation.

“The attorney general agreed with the acting state prosecutor that if any suspicions arise in the future different from those today which justify the involvement of the attorney general, they will be brought before him for his instruction and decision,” the letter said.

If Gantz were under suspicion, the attorney general would presumably be involved directly already at this stage.

The letter was in response to a call by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party for a probe to be opened immediately into Fifth Dimension, after Hebrew media reports said an investigation would begin after the March 2 elections.