February 28, 2018 / 9:55 AM / a year ago

Israel's Bezeq names Paz as acting CEO during police investigation

JERUSALEM, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Bezeq Israel Telecom said on Wednesday it named Yakov Paz as interim chief executive for at least the next month while CEO Stella Handler remains under police investigation.

Paz, 54, is a vice president and head of Bezeq’s business division. His appointment came at a special board meeting.

Handler was arrested last week in connection with an investigation into allegations that include fraud, bribery and securities offences. She was released from police custody to house arrest on Monday until March 4 while a court ordered she stay away from Bezeq for 30 days.

Along with Handler, Bezeq’s controlling shareholder and former chairman Shaul Elovitch and a number of other officials connected to Bezeq were arrested. Most have been released from custody although Elovitch remains in detention.

They all deny any wrongdoing.

Elovitch said on Monday he would step down from the board as would his son and daughter-in-law, a step sought by minority shareholders in the wake of the investigation by Israel’s markets regulator that began last year.

Elovitch, a family friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, controls Bezeq through Eurocom. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Tova Cohen)

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