Assistant to James Packer and Arnon Milchan reportedly tells police Israeli PM and wife routinely called to request favours
The Australian casino proprietor James Packer and the Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan probably never imagined they would be running a free beverages delivery service for the Israeli prime minister and his wife.
But when Sara Netanyahu called an assistant of the two men to say the drinks had run out, it was the signal for Packer and Milchan to renew the supplyings of champagne, courtesy of their own billfolds and a private driver, according to alleged evidence in an investigation into sleaze claims against Benjamin Netanyahu.
The claims, widely reported in the Israeli media on Tuesday, are the latest leaks from a police investigation into the Netanyahus. If true, they would illustrate how brazen the couple were in demanding favours.
According to the reports, first carried by Israel’s Channel 2 and Channel 10 on Monday night, Hadas Klein, an assistant to both Packer and Milchan, has given evidence describing how the Netanyahus would routinely call demanding cigars, champagne and even that the bill be paid for a building inspector.
While the Israeli prime minister has repeatedly denied the items represented anything more than goodwill between friends, the leak suggests that the Netanyahus always initiated the favours.
” There was an understanding that Arnon had to supply the Netanyahus with whatever they want ,” Klein reportedly told police, describing how a driver was employed to deliver the cigars and champagne to Jerusalem.
According to Klein, the demands extended to services as well.” Sara would yell at me ,” Klein reportedly said. “[ She] wanted a building inspector who worked with Packer and Milchan to come to hold consultations with professionals from the prime minister’s office about leakage in the official residence.
” I didn’t OK it, and then she screamed that I and Milchan were humiliating her and Bibi[ Benjamin Netanyahu’s moniker ], that we weren’t approving things … Bibi called himself and said it wasn’t right … that they need to understand what she’s going through with the media[ which the Netanyahus accuse of persecution ], and that they had get legal advice and it’s all permissible .”
The evidence reportedly supplied by Klein relates to the so-called ” gifts affair”, also known as suit 1,000, one of two criminal investigations into the Israeli prime minister. Police questioned him for a fifth day last week.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said the investigations” will render nothing because there was nothing “.
Responding to the latest leak, a spokesman for Netanyahu said:” The plague of fake news continues. What is being attributed to the prime minister and his wife is incorrect. The prime minister and his wife acted lawfully, so there will be nothing .”
Neither Milchan nor Packer have responded to the alleged witnes, but in September it was reported that Milchan had denied devoting gifts as part of any quid pro quo.
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