Court rejects Likud minister’s request to access evidence in Case 4000

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court rejects a request from Likud minister Amir Ohana to access evidence in Case 4000, the case in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Ohana had requested access to the files to bolster his defense in a lawsuit by a state’s witness.

Nir Hefetz, a former aide and confidant to Netanyahu who turned state’s witness, has filed a civil lawsuit against former justice minister Ohana for defying a gag order to publicly detail alleged misconduct by police during his interrogation.

In 2019, at the Knesset, Ohana railed against what he said was police misconduct in leaning on Hefetz to testify against Netanyahu in three corruption cases, revealing details of alleged illegitimate pressure tactics used by investigators that had been sealed by the court, supposedly to protect Hefetz’s privacy.

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana holds a press conference in Jerusalem, on July 15, 2020. (FLASH90)

Ohana, who has parliamentary immunity, described how investigators called in a woman who was not directly connected to Case 4000 for questioning, asked her “invasive and intrusive” questions about her relationship with Hefetz, then engineered an “accidental” meeting between the woman and Hefetz in the hallway to pressure him. After the two met, investigators allegedly told Hefetz, according to Ohana, that “we know everything and will drop a bomb on your family.”

Ohana used the Hefetz investigation to assert that the justice system was acting with malicious intent against Netanyahu, accusing it of “protecting criminals” and allowing “rot to take over.”

Nir Hefetz, then-editor in chief of the Maariv newspaper, attends an Economic Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset, September 27, 2012. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Hefetz is a key witness in Case 4000, which involves suspicions the premier pushed regulations benefiting Bezeq-controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch in exchange for positive coverage from Elovitch’s Walla news site.