בני גנץ בועידת השלטון המקומי
Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv

Gantz slams government corruption amid criminal probe reports

Ex-military chief dismisses allegations of being involved in fraudulent conduct as a head of a cyber-tech company; Gantz reportedly not a suspect in the case set to be investigated by AG

Roi Rubinstein, i24NEWS |
Published: 02.20.20 , 11:04
Blue & White leader on Thursday criticized corrupt government officials just hours after reports emerged the State Prosecutor's Office may advise the attorney general to launch an investigation into the Fifth Dimension cybersecurity firm, headed by Benny Gantz until last year.
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  • Gantz earlier denied wrongdoing in the case alleging shady business deals between the company and Israeli police. The reports say Gantz is not a suspect in the affair. But the development comes less than two weeks before national elections and during a campaign by Gantz' party that has tried to focus attention on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's indictment for corruption charges.
    בני גנץ בועידת השלטון המקומיבני גנץ בועידת השלטון המקומי
    Blue & White Chairman Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    "It all sounds like political pressure to get this thing on the public's agenda," Gantz told Israeli Army Radio. "I am totally at ease. This was checked in the past and no criminal suspicion was found."
    Hours later the opposition lawmaker spoke at an innovation event in Tel Aviv and vowed not to promote any law that will prevent the investigation of public figures if elected.
    "I find the issue of corruption very disturbing. In recent years we've seen a president, a prime minister, and a chief rabbi go to prison. It breaks the public's trust in his elected officials," said Gantz. "I vow not to promote any law that will prevent the investigation of public figures. We will pass the authority to grant members of Knesset immunity to an external committee. I say all this because we have a prime minister who will move on March 17 from the prime minister's chair to the defendants' bench and I intend to replace him."
    The investigation is not expected to begin until after the March 2 elections.
    לוגו חברה המימד החמישי בני גנץלוגו חברה המימד החמישי בני גנץ
    The Fifth Dimension logo
    The probe will look into other personnel who are involved in the affair, who allegedly mislead the police with fake presentations in order to win a deal for the company.
    The potential investigation would focus on the former employees at the Fifth Dimension, which filed bankruptcy in 2018, and whether they have violated any laws.
    In March 2019, former-State Comptroller Yosef Shapira issued a report that detailed inconsistencies that were found in the purchase deals that the police have engaged in recent years - a sum that amounted to some $850 million.
    Netanyahu – whose corruption trial begins on March 17 – took a jab at Gantz and posted a tweet that read, “this is a sad evening for the State of Israel,” a tweet identical to another post Gantz had published just two days prior, after the opening date of Netanyahu's trial had been announced.
    Associated Press contributed to this report
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