Filber again seems to change testimony on Netanyahu, who hails ‘death’ of case


Staff member
Filber again seems to change testimony on Netanyahu, who hails ‘death’ of case
State witness tells court that damning evidence he gave regarding a meeting with the then-PM may have related to a different chat with Bezeq’s Elovitch
By TOI staff
18 May 2022

A key witness in the graft trial against former prime minister MK Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to cast doubt on his own testimony Tuesday, leading the former prime minister to celebrate the “death” of the most serious of three cases he is charged in. The semi-about-face from former Communications Ministry director-general Shlomo Filber was the latest twist in a cross-examination that has already seen him make several hairpin turns. His shifting recollections have frustrated the prosecution, which had relied on his testimony to undergird its allegations that Netanyahu traded regulatory approval of a merger for control over how he and his family were portrayed by a popular news site.

Evidence from Filber, a Netanyahu associate who turned state witness, is an essential element of the prosecution’s charges in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is accused of providing lucrative benefits to Shaul Elovitch, then-owner of Bezeq and the Walla news site, in exchange for favorable coverage.

Filber told the court Tuesday that details he gave police interrogators regarding a meeting with Netanyahu may have actually been from a meeting with Elovitch, the Bezeq controlling shareholder at the time, who was seeking an okay to merge with the Yes satellite TV provider. The businessman is accused of giving Netanyahu ultimate say over how the-then prime minister was covered by the Walla news site. Filber had initially said notes from the meeting, which included the graft scheme, were a record of what Netanyahu had asked for.