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Iris Elovitch in 2016: ‘I am ready to sell my soul to Satan’ in PM trial

CM 20/04/2021

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The prosecution in the public corruption trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played an explosive recording on Tuesday for the Jerusalem District Court of Iris Elovitch describing her commitment to the alleged media bribery scheme underlying Case 4000.Iris is the wife of Shaul Elovitch, the owner of both the Walla media outlet and the Bezeq telecommunications giant, which are among the main actors in Case 4000, dubbed the “Bezeq-Walla Affair.”In a recording of Iris speaking to former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua on November 9, 2016, she said, “I told Shaul that I am ready, for the group [Bezeq], to sell my soul to the devil.”The context of her statement was an extensive conversation in which she demanded that Yeshua “fix” various “problems” at Walla with employees who were not cooperating fully with the Elovitches’ orders to slant coverage in favor of Netanyahu.Iris demands that Yeshua “handle” some of these Walla employees and bring in new employees who will play ball more with systematically pro-Netanyahu coverage.During the recording, Iris also warns Yeshua that part of their problem is Yair Netanyahu, because even when the prime minister or Sara are happy with a headline or photo of them online, Yair analyzes issues more deeply.For example, Iris said Yair will tell his mother Sara that the photo was a good photo, but was placed in a lower and weaker spot on the website and that she and the Netanyahu family messengers should ensure that it is placed more prominently.

Tuesday is the seventh and expected to be the final day of the prosecution questioning Yeshua, who recorded conversations with Iris and others and handed them over to the prosecution.

The prosecution also played a second recording of Iris speaking to Yeshua only a few days later, on November 14, 2016, in which she claimed that the Yisrael Hayom daily paper was insufficiently loyal to the Netanyahu family.
In the exchange, Yeshua is trying to convince Iris that a story which the Netanyahus complained about was acceptable because Walla only posted the story after they saw that Yisrael Hayom had run it.
Yisrael Hayom was founded and owned (in 2016) by the late Sheldon Adelson, a close ally of Netanyahu.
Iris is recorded as saying: “But listen, I am explaining – you want me to tell you again that Yisrael Hayom is having a problem?”
Yeshua responded: “How can Yisrael Hayom have a problem? I don’t understand. Yisrael Hayom does everything that they [the Netanyahus] want – I read the headlines every day.”
Iris answered: “They are angry with Yisrael Hayom.”
Yeshua said: “Also regarding Yisrael Hayom?”

Iris explained: “Yes. There is Dan Margalit and Moti Gilat and there is that one that fell through [the cracks and is not being pro-Netanyahu enough] – and [Yisrael Hayom founder Amos] Regev is not controlling them.”Case 4000 alleges that Netanyahu favored Bezeq in government policy in exchange for positive coverage from Walla.The court is expected to rule later Tuesday on how long a recess the defense will receive before it begins cross-examining Yeshua.
Source: Jerusalem Post

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