(February 26, 2018 / JNS) A leaked text conversation between the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court judge overseeing an investigation against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the attorney representing investigators has sent shockwaves through the country, showing that the two colluded to extend the remands of suspects in the case, even planning how the judge would react in court.
An exposé on Channel 10 news on Sunday revealed that Judge Ronit Poznanski-Katz, presiding over Case 4000—in which members of the Netanyahu camp are suspected of conspiring to benefit the Bezeq telecommunications company in exchange for favorable coverage from Walla news, owned by the same person, Shaul Elovitch—corresponded with Israel Securities Authority attorney Eran Shacham-Shavit privately via WhatsApp.
In their communications, Shacham-Shavit told Poznanski-Katz that he would seek an extension of remand for several Bezeq-affiliated suspects.
“Look surprised,” he told the judge.
The attorney then went on to explain how she should conduct the remand in response to statements he would make in court, to which the judge replied: “If you continue to reveal everything to me, I will have to look really surprised.” She also referenced a plan they had made previously, though did not elaborate.
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Chief Justice of Israel’s Supreme Court Esther Hayut have filed a complaint against Poznanski-Katz, who has stepped down from the case. Shacham-Shavit has also stepped down as prosecutor.
Both parties are under investigation. All of the remanded suspects are filing requests for immediate release.