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Milchan and Netanyahu
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Arnon Milchan becomes suspect in PM bribery probe
Israeli billionaire questioned for hours in London after investigators cite difficulties in indicting Netanyahu for accepting extravagant gifts if the individual who gave them is not considered a suspect.
Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan was questioned under caution in London last week on suspicion of giving bribes to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu, signalling the latest development in what is referred to as Case 1000.

 

 

According to investigators involved, Milchan's testimony, which was provided during a three-hour grilling, strengthened the case for indicting Netanyahu, who finds himself embroiled in a host of corruption investigations.

 

A close Netanyahu associate dismissed the notion out of hand that Milchan and the prime minister had transgressed in any way. "Any attempt to attach impropriety to the deep, years' long friendship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Arnon Milchan is baseless and doomed to fail. We repeat: there won't be anything because there wasn't anything," the official defiantly stated, repeating Netanyahu's commonly-expressed mantra.

 

Milchan has already provided testimony twice in the recent past during his visit to Israel following suspicions which arose that he gave the prime minister and his wife bribes in the form of expensive gifts including champagne, cigars and jewelry. But during that time, he was never officially suspected of any wrongdoing.

 

Arnon Milchan (left) and PM Netanyahu (right) (Photo: Getty Images) (Photo: Getty Images)
Arnon Milchan (left) and PM Netanyahu (right) (Photo: Getty Images)

 

With the latest round of questioning of the Israeli magnate in London, Milchan became a suspect following complaints put forth by investigators that Netanyahu, who is suspected of accepting bribes and corruption, could hardly be indicted if the individual responsible for handing out the bribes was not made an official suspect.

 

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has stuck to the claim that any gifts given by Milchan were done so in friendship and entirely bereft of political motivations.

 

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, speaking last week at The Bar Association Law Conference, said: “The investigations are done professionally and thoroughly, without cutting corners. It is important to emphasize that on the note of public interest, law enforcement is not a political matter. It cannot be influenced by outside considerations when it comes to criminal procedures. This has never happened, it isn’t happening and it won’t happen.”

 

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