Senior Communications Ministry official Interrogated In Bezeq Probe

The Israel Securities Authority said Wednesday that Shlomo Filber a senior official at the Communication Ministry had been brought in for interrogation on suspicion of ethics violations and securities fraud.

The questioning is part of a probe of Bezeq, Israel’s largest telecommunication firm, the ISA said in a statement.

No further information was released due to an injunction requiring details to remain undisclosed.

The ISA is investigating officials in the Bezeq group of companies and other firms related to the controlling shareholder of the telecom giant.

Trading in Bezeq was halted for the second time on Monday as the probe was expanded to include dealings between satellite broadcaster Yes and Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd., the ISA said Monday.

Both firms are controlled by Bezeq controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitz. The investigation into these additional companies stems from suspicions of offenses under the securities and the penal code, the ISA said.

Last month, investigators from the ISA raided the offices of Bezeq and pulled in its controlling shareholder for questioning.

Trading was halted on that day for Bezeq and its holding companies, B Communications and Internet Gold-Golden Lines Ltd., following the ISA investigation into the company, Bezeq said in a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on June 20.

At the center of the probe is reportedly the NIS 680 million ($193 million) cash acquisition of Yes shares by Bezeq from Elovitz in 2015, a deal that was opposed by many of Bezeq’s institutional investors.

A day later, Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court issued travel bans of six months to businessman Elovitz, director of the YES television cable company Ron Ayalon, and the YES financial director Michal Neeman

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