February 21, 2018 / 3:57 PM / a month ago

Israeli judge extends Bezeq CEO police detention another 6 days

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli judge ordered the chief executive of Bezeq Israel Telecom to remain in police custody for another six days on Wednesday as part of an investigation into the country’s largest telecoms group.

FILE PHOTO: Stella Handler, CEO of Bezeq, Israel's largest telecom provider, speaks during the launch of Beqez's "Smartcity" initiative, in the central Israeli city of Modi'in August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo

Bezeq CEO Stella Handler was arrested on Sunday in connection with an Israel Securities Authority (ISA) investigation of Bezeq over possible fraud and financial reporting offences.

Handler and another Bezeq executive were initially scheduled to be detained until Wednesday but police requested the court to extend their detention another six days.

Nir Hefetz sits in the Magistrate Court during his remand hearing in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

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

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.

Shaul Elovitch, a family friend of Netanyahu’s who controls telecoms firm Bezeq through his Eurocom holding company, was also arrested along with his wife and son.

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

Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Keith Weir

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