Businessmen brothers Moshe and Mandy Gartner have appealed to the district court to prevent an 11-year arbitration process between them and billionaire Dan Gertler over a dispute over hundreds of millions of shekels.
The brothers want to appoint an alternative arbitrator, after the current arbitrator, former district court president, retired judge Uri Goren, resigned earlier this month after conducting the arbitration proceedings before him, after submitting the parties’ summaries and just before the arbitral award. Goren resigned after learning that a private investigator had been hired by the Gartner brothers. This is what Goren wrote to attorney Alex Hartman, who represents the Gartner brothers.
According to the brothers, arbitrator Goren resigned from the arbitration proceedings as a result of an exercise by Gertler who wanted to delay the proceedings. According to the request submitted through S. Horowitz and Berkman & Co., in the final stages of the arbitration, the brothers received information from a third party to the arbitration, Adv. Yossi Cohen, the Netanyahu family’s lawyer, according to which another Goren arbitration was canceled And Adv. Boaz Ben-Tzur, one of the parties’ attorneys in the other arbitration and who represents Gertler in the current arbitration proceedings.
Moshe Gartner turned to Adv. Yossi Cohen following a conversation from August 2019 with Natan Eshel, who is close to Prime Minister Netanyahu, in which they talked about an arbitration proceeding between the Gartner brothers and the late Weinroth estate of retired judge Goren. Eshel referred Gartner to attorney Yossi Cohen, who linked him to private investigator Zvika Naveh.
According to the brothers, in view of the sensitivity of the information, the two hired Neveh’s services to whom they came through Adv. Cohen in order to verify the facts. According to the brothers, the private investigator acted behind their backs and passed on to Gertler sensitive and private confidential information.
Gertler’s attorneys, Dr. Dori Klagsbald and Boaz Ben-Tzur, claim that the Gartner brothers hired the services of the private investigator for future blackmail by retired Judge Goren, after realizing that their claim in the arbitration lawsuit was likely to be rejected. Gathering information about Goren and after Goren learned of the matter, the latter decided to resign. In a letter sent by Adv. Klagsbald to Adv. Hartman representing the Gartner brothers, it was alleged that Moshe Gartner hired the private investigator to “gather information about the retired President Goren, about his spouse and about His legal assistant, and a liaison with the private investigator to record the Honorable President Goren’s spouse, makes incriminating statements about the president and about Adv. Ben-Tzur, “the letter further states that If he does not like it, “he said.
On behalf of Dan Gertler, it was stated that “the matter can not be returned to arbitration and should be investigated in court and there only. The four senior lawyers in the Israeli legal world, who represent both sides: Klagsbald, Ben-Tzur, Hartman and Berkman claim that they have never seen The appointment of a new arbitrator due to the Gartner brothers ‘extortion attempt means spending another million dollars on both sides, another 11 years of giving testimony and testimony. In light of the Gartner brothers’ mobster conduct, we are close And we are sure that they will not reach the re-arbitration process with a willing mind, so we demand that we turn to the judicial system and not appoint a new arbitrator who will be equally threatened by past experience. “
On the other hand, in the application submitted to the court, it was alleged that Gertler sought to cause the arbitrator to resign just before the arbitrator’s ruling, and therefore submitted a notice to the arbitrator informing him, according to the brothers, in a “trending, partial and distorted” manner. With Adv. Boaz Ben-Tzur. As a result of this appeal, Goren felt hurt and stated that he felt “biased and could not discuss arbitration objectively” and therefore asked to resign.
The brothers claim that this is a “Kafkaesque” situation and that the termination of the proceedings is “inconceivable and unacceptable, involves severe torture and the trampling of the legitimacy of having an arbitration before a retired senior judge for so long.”
The Gartner brothers also claim that their application for the appointment of a replacement arbitrator was rejected because Gertler is interested in a torture while he has held hundreds of millions of dollars for years. They further claim that even at the beginning of the proceedings Gertler delayed the arbitration for a year.
The parties have been in arbitration since 2010 before retired judge Uri Goren regarding $ 600 million transferred from the Gartner brothers to Gertler in 2005-2008 and a series of breaches of agreements and false representations. As part of the arbitration, 72 hearings, 10,000 pages of minutes were held and millions were invested, in the process expert opinions were given on both sides, and lengthy cross-examinations were conducted.
As part of the request, the Gartner brothers propose to appoint retired judges Zvi Zilbertal, Yitzhak Inbar and Yosef (Sefi) Ayalon.
According to the brothers, there is no justification for returning the proceedings to the beginning, they said, “Failure to comply with the request for the appointment of a replacement arbitrator means that for many years the Gartner brothers’ money was illegally held illegally by Mr. Gartner – huge resources, witness investigations and various proceedings went down the drain. It is conceivable, it is inconceivable and contrary to common sense. “
The background to the dispute between the diamond merchants is a business partnership that has existed between them since the mid-2000s. In those years, Gertler, in partnership with tycoon Benny Steinmetz, purchased several copper and cobalt mines from the Congolese government. Gertler soon became one of the most connected businessmen in the Congo, and he developed a deep friendship with the country’s leader at the time, Joseph Kabilla.
Later, they joined the company founded by Gertler and Steinmetz, Niknor, the Gartner brothers – ultra-Orthodox Jews living in London, who were considered close associates of senior politicians in the Degel HaTorah party, including Yaakov Litzman, now deputy health minister. According to a report in Haaretz, the person who mediated between Gertler and the Gartner brothers was Adv. Yaakov Weinroth, the attorney general of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
At the beginning of her career, Nicknor prospered and succeeded. In July 2006, the company raised $ 400 million in the London capital market at a company value of $ 1.5 billion. According to a publication in “Globes” from the day of the IPO, copper, the metal produced by Nicanor in the various mines in the Congo, was considered the main commodity exported from the Congo, and the main factor for growth in the country’s economy.
However, against the background of the economic crisis of 2008, and the declines in raw material prices, the company’s economic situation was damaged; And was eventually acquired by Swiss mining giant Glencore. Then also ended the business partnership between Gertler and the Gartner brothers, and jarring tones. The brothers claimed that during the partnership, Gertler wrongfully took hundreds of millions of shekels from them. Gertler denied the allegations against him, raising his own allegations against the Gartner brothers and their conduct.
Since the hawkish parties wanted to keep the dispute between them secretly, he was transferred to arbitration before Judge (retired) Goren, one of the leading arbitrators in the country. It is estimated that Goren charges between NIS 2,000 and NIS 2,500 per hour of arbitration; And the arbitration procedure in question lasted over 11 years.
Gertler suffered a severe blow in December 2017 when the U.S. Department of Commerce of the White House included him in a dubious list of 52 entities and individuals that the U.S. decided to impose sanctions on for “human rights violations and corruption.” , And in addition Americans will be barred from having trade relations with him.
According to the Department of Commerce in America, the reason for the US sanctions against Gertler is his relationship with the top of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. “Dan Gertler is an international businessman and billionaire, who has amassed his fortune through hundreds of millions of dollars in opaque and corrupt mining (of copper and cobalt), and in oil deals in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gertler took advantage of his close friendship with Democratic Republic President Joseph Kabbalah to” , The language of the message.