Hefetz: I directly updated Netanyahu on Walla’s hedge control

Nir Hefetz, the star prosecution witness and former senior assistant to Benjamin Netanyahu, testified before the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday that he was acting on direct instructions from the former prime minister when he intervened with media coverage of Walla.
Netanyahu’s former top aide is seen as critical in proving media bribery against the former prime minister in the 4000 Bezeq-Walla Affair case because he interacted directly with Netanyahu both on media coverage and on communications policy fronts. .

According to the indictment, the premise of Case 4000 was that Netanyahu gave favorable communications policy treatment to Shaul Elovitch’s Bezeq in exchange for control over news coverage of Walla, also owned by Elovitch.

Hefetz said Netanyahu had “complete” control (spelling the letters of the word “mi-leh-ah” or “complete” in Hebrew letter by letter to emphasize) all interactions with the media, especially with Walla.

Netanyahu’s former senior adviser said the former prime minister had time especially on weekends when he spent more time reviewing specific news in detail with his wife, Sarah, and their eldest son, Yair.

Nir Hefetz, former associate of Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu and state witness in Case 4000 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)

After these Netanyahu family sessions, Hefetz said he would receive calls with instructions on what orders to give Walla about his coverage of a combination of the prime minister and the other two family members on the speakerphone, but that the prime minister always he was on the call. .

At some point, Sarah and Yair even tried to take more direct control of media issues related to them, but Hefetz said the former prime minister rejected and maintained direct control and interactions with his top adviser even on these issues.

The only exception, Hefetz noted, were the completely positive color stories about Sarah, which were completely indisputable.

Completing the image of a statement he made during Monday’s testimony, Hefetz explained why he said that Netanyahu was constantly working on media issues, including Walla, even demanding to be interrupted during security meetings.

The background was that “there were one or two incidents where I acted independently” thinking that Netanyahu was in an important political meeting where he would not want to be interrupted by mere media affairs.

However, afterwards, Netanyahu gave him direct orders that he had acted incorrectly and should always interrupt him regarding media problems, no matter what meeting he was involved in and how serious the problem was.

In a highly controversial moment, Hefetz revealed that many of his direct discussions with Netanyahu on media-related issues included one of the defense attorneys currently in the courtroom (likely Amit Hadad).

Both this moment and several moments in which the prosecution sought to “refresh the memory” of Hefetz, who frequently forgets what he told the police when questioned, sparked an unprecedented explosion between the prosecution and defense attorneys.

The conflagration lasted for nearly an hour, completely disrupting the flow of Hefetz’s testimony until the judges lost patience with the defense and told them to keep their arguments against for when Hefetz was questioned.

Hefetz then connected the Walla media portion of the bribery scheme to the Bezeq regulatory portion of the scheme.

Hefetz said that “I always spoke with Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu first before speaking with Shlomo Filber” to give him instructions on how to treat Bezeq favorably.

He made it clear that “I have no experience, I cannot give him directives without them,” meaning Hefetz was not comfortable in the world of telling Filber how to handle Communications Ministry policy.

In other words, when Hefetz told Filber how to please Bezeq it was only after he received direct orders from the former prime minister.


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