New names in Bibi gifts in­ves­ti­ga­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

PRIME MIN­IS­TER Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu was ques­tioned by po­lice for a third time last Fri­day as part of three on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into his af­fairs.

The po­lice have fo­cused ev­i­dence given by film pro­ducer Arnon Milchan, who said he had reg­u­larly sup­plied, on re­quest, ci­gars and Cham­pagne to the Ne­tanyahu fam­ily. Mr Milchan in­sists he was not ex­pect­ing any­thing in return.

Po­lice have the names of at least four for­eign busi­ness­men who al­legedly gave the Ne­tanyahu fam­ily gifts, in­clud­ing the Pres­i­dent of the World Jewish Con­gress, Ron­ald Lauder. How­ever, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is fo­cus­ing on gifts from Mr Milchan and Aus­tralian bil­lion­aire James Packer.

Mean­while, the sec­ond case, con­cern­ing Mr Ne­tanyahu’s deal­ings with me­dia ty­coon Arnon Mozes, is pro­ceed­ing apace. Last Fri­day, Mr Mozes was ques­tioned once again by po­lice and, ac­cord­ing to le­gal sources, pro­vided ev­i­dence to sup­port a claim that Mr Ne­tanyahu has control over the ed­i­to­rial pol­icy of Is­rael Hayom, the freesheet owned by casino mogul Shel­don Adel­son. If this is es­tab­lished, it could prove that his re­la­tion­ship with Is­rael Hayom con­sti­tuted il­le­gal po­lit­i­cal fund­ing. The prime min­is­ter in­sists there was noth­ing un­to­ward about “gifts given out of friend­ship” and that his deal­ings with Mr Mozes were the norm in re­la­tions be­tween politi­cians and me­dia. The third case re­gard­ing Mr Ne­tanyahu, which so far has not been clas­si­fied as a crim­i­nal probe, is over the ac­tions of his per­sonal at­tor­ney and ad­viser David Shim­ron, who also worked as a lawyer for the Is­raeli rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Ger­man ship­yard cho­sen to build sub­marines and mis­sile-boats for the Is­raeli navy. On Fri­day, for­mer De­fence Min­is­ter Moshe Yaalon was ques­tioned by po­lice on this case. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports in the Is­raeli me­dia, Mr Yaalon told po­lice that the prime min­is­ter in­ter­vened in the deals with the ship­yard. How­ever, Mr Ne­tanyahu claims he was not aware of his ad­viser’s in­volve­ment with the Ger­man com­pany.


Claims of gift­giv­ing: Packer

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