The flight case has been awaiting the attorney general’s office, Avichai Mandelblit, for a year. Globes has learned that the Economic Department of the State Prosecutor’s Office has already reached agreements in principle with the airline to sign a plea agreement that only includes payment of a fine and service work, but due to the airline’s opposition to the settlement, the case is pending.
Globes has learned that the Ombudsman fears that the conduct of the proceedings will cause significant political harm to the State of Israel in the course of the administration of justice and the recruitment of witnesses from abroad in order to substantiate the company’s claim for selective enforcement. Although the case was subject to a blanket publication ban, the concern is that the content of the evidence will be published in a foreign country, which could cause such damage to Israel’s diplomatic relations.
Avichai Mandelblit, Attorney General/Photo: Rafi Kotz
The investigation was opened in 2017, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s Economic Department sent letters of hearing before filing an indictment in 2018 to the Air Navigation Authority and ten of the company’s employees.
The letter of suspicion is attributed to the company’s senior executives and employees suspected of having committed the offenses of fraudulently receiving anything under aggravating circumstances and offenses under the Defense Export Control Act, which were also allegedly committed under aggravating circumstances.
According to the announcement by the Prosecutor General’s Office at the time, these are the employees who were investigated in connection with the company’s transaction with a physical customer abroad.
Aeronautics is an Israeli company that specializes in providing comprehensive unmanned solutions for the military and civilian markets. The head office of the company is located in Livni. In March 2020, Colonel (Reserves) Moshe Elazar, who previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of Rafael’s Division, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Colonel (Reserves) Yoav Har Evin and CEO of Rafael Corporation.
The investigation was conducted by a joint team of the Serious and International Crimes Detection Unit (Yahavale) at Blade 433 of the Israel Police and the Defense Commissioner’s Investigation Unit (MLMB), accompanied by the Economic Department of the State Prosecutor’s Office.
The 2018 hearing letters were sent to the company, to the company’s CEO, Amos Matan, and the vice president of the business division, Meir Razmovich; The director of the company’s development department at the time, Haim Habsher. The company’s marketing director, David Golden, and other employees.
Due to political complexity, the case was referred to the Ombudsman for a decision a year ago. Now Mandelblit must decide whether to adjourn the case out of fear of diplomatic involvement or run the case where the prosecution knows there is good evidence to prove the case.