Netanyahu's lawyer: Receiving cigars from a friend is not a criminal offense

By ALON HOCHMON/MAARIV
January 6, 2017 16:37

On Thursday, Netanyahu was questioned under caution by police for the second time this week, over allegations that he received illegal gifts from Israeli and foreign businessmen.

1 minute read.



Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Attorney Yaakov Weinroth, who represents Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the press on Friday that, "any reasonable person knows that someone bringing their friend cigars is not a criminal offense."

Channel 2 reported on Thursday that Israeli producer Arnon Milchan had given Netanyahu cigars worth tens of thousands of shekels over seven or eight years.

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Weinroth stated that despite the media's speculations, once Netanyahu's answers are heard, it will be clear that there was no criminal activity.

Speaking of the second, confidential, case against Netanyahu, Weinroth stated that it did not have to do with money, a loan or crime.

On Thursday, Netanyahu was questioned under caution by police for the second time this week, over allegations that he received illegal gifts from Israeli and foreign businessmen and a second undisclosed case that police are keeping under wraps.

Amorphous allegations relating to Sara Netanyahu were dismissed as having been so irrelevant that police had not asked about them.

Allegations about illegal transfers of value to Netanyahu worth larger amounts of money, some of which were reported first by Haaretz, have either been denied or defined as a loan if they turn out to be true, according to Netanyahu’s team, Channel 2 reported.

Netanyahu was questioned on Monday night for around three hours in connection with the allegations, some of which include suspicions that he received improper gifts worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from businessmen in a manner that breached his duty of trust as a public servant.

Both times, the prime minister has been questioned by members of the police’s National Fraud Unit at his residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

Dep.-Ch. Koresh Barnur, the head of the National Fraud Unit, which is part of the Lahav 433 anti-corruption unit, has led the questioning of the country’s most powerful man.

ELIYAHU KAMISHER and YONAH JEREMY BOB contributed to this report.

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