Ronald S. Lauder.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
President of the World Jewish Congress and billionaire businessman Ron Lauder will give testimony about the Netanyahu family to investigators in New York, or on a separate visit to Israel, according to a Channel 2 report yesterday.
According to the report, Lauder was detained by investigators of the Lahav 433 unit last Friday, after his arrival from Ukraine, where he attended a memorial for the Babi Yar Massacre.
He was on his way to the funeral of Shimon Peres when he was stopped. A Lahav 433 spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny the report.
Lauder was reportedly upset at the encounter and chastised police. “I am coming to the funeral of a good friend with whom I shared diplomatic initiatives and you detain me,” Lauder said, according to the report.
Lauder did not give a statement to police and instead reached an agreement to testify later.
The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on the report. In regard to ongoing investigations, Netanyahu stated last month, “There will be nothing, because there is nothing.”
According to a Channel 10 report cited in yesterday’s report, Sara Netanyahu said in 2011 that Lauder was a “friend” who previously had flown the Netanyahu family and hosted them.
The World Jewish Congress said it had no comment at this time, when asked by The Jerusalem Post According to media reports, evidence in the investigation centers on the alleged use of funds of the American Friends of Likud, a not-for-profit American educational organization that connects Likud supporters in the US to the party. Many people involved in the organization contribute to Likud candidates, including Netanyahu.
Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow, who was questioned for 14 hours by police in July, once directed the American Friends of Likud, as did another former Netanyahu aide who has been questioned.
Herb Keinon and Tamara Zieve contributed to this report.