Photo Credit: Omer Miron / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The question of corruption in the case of the Bezeq corruption probe is apparently no longer limited to the defendants, but has now widened to include a judge and an investigator as well, according to a Whatsapp conversation obtained by Channel 10 news that was revealed Sunday night.

According to the report, the judge and an investigator in the case discussed and coordinated during their chats the remand periods to be assigned for suspects.

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The text of the chats was aired on Sunday.

According to the text, Israel Securities Authority investigator Eran Shacham-Shavit told Judge Ronit Poznansky-Katz that authorities intended to free some of the suspects in the investigation but would hold others for several more days.

“Try and act surprised,” Shacham-Shavit writes.

“I’m practicing my surprised face,” Poznansky-Katz responds.

In a separate chat, Shacham-Shavit writes: “Stella [Handler] and Iris [Elovitch], we will ask for a few more days tomorrow.

“They will request three days, but you can definitely, definitely give two days,” he writes.”

“You’re continuing to reveal everything to me and I will have to act really, really surprised,” Poznansky-Katz replies.

Both conversations took place before the remand hearings, according to Channel 10.

Case 4000 involves the question of whether the controlling shareholder of Bezeq, Shaul Elovitch, ordered the Walla! News giant, which he owns, to provide positive coverage to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in exchange for regulations that would benefit Elovitch.

Following the revelation, attorney Jacques Chen, who represents Elovitch, called for the immediate release of his client.

“It has now been revealed that the arrest is entirely illegal,” he said. “We intend to appeal to the court this very evening to request the release of my client forthwith. We will consider our next steps.”

Likewise, the attorney for Elovitch’s son (also in custody) said he too would file for release, noting the Whatsapp text messages had “contaminated the judicial process.”

Political leaders on both sides of the aisle called for the suspension or termination of judge and investigator immediately.

Bayit Yehudi MK demanded all suspects in the case be freed immediately and that both judge and investigator be suspended. “We cannot allow even the smallest chance that someone was deprived of the freedom through an improper process,” he said.

Zionist Union party chairman Yoel Hasson likewise demanded the termination of both judge and investigator. “Public confident in the judicial system is the holiest of holies,” he tweeted. “The right to due process for every suspect is basic.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.