The legal teams representing the suspects detained in the Bezeq Affair (also known as Case 4000) charged Monday that the court procedure to extend their clients' remand was "hopelessly tainted," demanding their immediate release.
The request was filed in the wake of a report by Channel 10 News on correspondence between the Tel Aviv Magistrates' Court judge overseeing case, Ronit Poznanski-Katz, and the attorney representing the Israel Securities Authority (ISA), Eran Shacham-Shavit, which showed the two coordinated thje extension of the remand of two suspects arrested in the affair.
"It seems that a review of the correspondence speaks for itself. It does not require any interpretation," legal team representing Bezeq shareholder Shaul Elovitch and his wife and son, Iris and Or, wrote in their request, adding, "This is unprecedented conduct in its severity, the clear meaning of which is that all the detainees in the case are detained in a blatantly illegal manner."
In court, the attorneys called the remand hearings of the suspects in the affair "a charade," and said the correspondence may have been just "the tip of the iceberg."
"Something terrible has happened here and the sense of justice requires the release of the suspects," they said.
The attorney representing former media adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Nir Hefetz asserted in his request for his client's immediate release that "at the end of the day, a person can be convicted, but when there are flaws that show the procedure to be polluted, justice is served when that the person be released immediately, regardless of whether there is reasonable suspicion against him."
Former Bezeq strategic advisor Eli Kamir's advocate asked to receive all the telephone correspondence between the judge and the lawyer, suggesting it "had an impact on all (remand) hearings that took place (in the framework of the case)."
ISA representative Yehudit Tirosh responded by assuring that the Authority does indeed inteds to treat the incident with great severity, adding it was not aware of the connection between the judge and their representative.
"I can only express my regret that such an event has taken place," she said, though insisting that suspects Shaul Elovitch and Nir Hefetz should indeed be kept in remand as their obstruction of the investigation was of a degree which she rarely witnessed before.
"The case must be investigated and there is a real need (for keeping them detained)," she stressed. "There are defects (in the procedure of their detainment), and the court has to examine them, but we would not be here if we didn't think there is need to extend their remand."
The police, meanwhile, did not request the further remand of Or and Iris Elovitch, Bezeq CEO Stella Adler and Bezeq Strategy and Business Development Manager Amikam Shorer—releasing all four under restrictive conditions, with Shorer being put on house arrest.
In light of this, all attorneys but the one representing Or Elovitch pulled their request. They explained that the issue was "too important," and that a hearing on it should take place despite the relevance of their plea.
Itay Blumenthal, Gilad Morag and Moran Azulay contributed to this report.