After Channel 2 News reported billionaire Arnon Michan's testimony in Case 1000 concerning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the channel yesterday reported the testimony of Netanyahu himself, who is suspected of accepting gifts from Milchan worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, according to Milchan's testimony.
It is suspected that Milchan gave Sara and Benjamin Netanyahu cigars, champagne, and jewelry. Netanyahu told the investigators that he had not known about champagne and other gifts. The prime minister made it clear that any gifts by Michan were given to Sara.
In his testimony, Benjamin Netanyahu said that his wife was an independent person, and he should not be expected to know everything about such matters. The prime minister stressed that he had not checked how much each cigar cost, and certainly not the aggregate amount over many years. He added that he had bought many cigars at his own expense over the years.
Channel 2 reported Milchan's testimony to the police two weeks ago, which indicated that what had taken place was not a friendly exchange of presents, but a real regular conveyor belt of gifts.
According to Milchan, the cigars, champagne, and jewelry were given continuously over a prolonged period. The gifts began with friendship and continued on a "special format" exclusively for the Netanyahus. He said that the gifts were given according to a specific and itemized request, and amounted to hundreds of thousands of shekels.
Milchan argued in his testimony that the amounts were not significant for a businessman like him. He further stressed that he had kept the receipts as part of his money management accounting system, not as evidence.
Speaking about these relations, Milchan said that even if it seemed strange and caused unpleasantness, the gifts had been given as part of a friendly relationship with the Netanyahus, and that as far as he was concerned, he had not expected anything in return, and in any case had no business interests in Israel.
The police emphasize that the emerging factual evidence against Netanyahu involves two offenses: both receiving favors in the context of a bribe and breach of trust.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on February 8, 2017
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