×

Ex-chair, CEO among detainees in probe into Israel's Bezeq Tel

JERUSALEM, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Israeli police on Tuesday named the CEO and former chairman of Bezeq among the suspects arrested this week after the markets watchdog uncovered new evidence in an investigation into the country's largest telecom group.

The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) has been investigating Bezeq over possible fraud and financial reporting offenses.

Israeli media reported investigators were now looking into allegations that Bezeq received benefits in return for enabling favorable media coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While the arrests were announced on Sunday, the suspects' identities were under a gag order until now.

Police said Bezeq's controlling shareholder and former chairman Shaul Elovitch, his wife and son are being held as are Bezeq CEO Stella Handler.

Shlomo Filber, a former director general of the Communications Ministry, and former Netanyahu spokesman Nir Hefetz are also being held.

Handler and another Bezeq executive will remain under arrest until Wednesday while the others will be held until Thursday, the police and the ISA said in a statement.

A lawyer for Handler said she is cooperating fully with the investigation and denies the allegations.

(Reporting by Ori Lewis, Tova Cohen and Steven Scheer; Editing by Keith Weir)