Report: Netanyahu used Kerry ties to assist businessman friend renew US visa

The report was revealed while the Israel Police is conducting a criminal investigation against the PM, suspecting that he received improper gifts from this particular businessman and others.

January 7, 2017 18:39
1 minute read.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly used his ties with US Secretary of State John Kerry in order to assist a prominent Israeli businessman in acquiring a renewed US visa, Channel 10 revealed on Friday.

According to the report, after US authorities learned that Anon Milchan was involved in alleged unspecified nuclear dealings, Milchan's visa had to be renewed. The Israeli businessman then turned to Netanyahu for help, with the latter contacting Kerry to request assistance on Milchan's behalf.

Netanyahu spoke with Kerry three times on the subject in 2014, asking that he help the Israeli businessman with the visa process.

The report claims that Kerry agreed to help Milchan and that the businessman's visa was renewed for an additional 10 years.

The report follows multiple other headlines in the same vein that have been published this week, all questioning the premier's conduct.

Israeli Police have already questioned Netanyahu twice in the past week after announcing that had opened an investigation on the premier on suspicion that he received improper gifts from Israeli and foreign businessmen.

If the allegations are revealed to be true, Netanyahu stands to be charged with multiple felonies, including breaching the public trust.

Netanyahu has denied all the charges against him.

Milchan is one of the businessmen surrounding the investigation, suspected to have gifted Netanyahu with presents such as expensive cigars and alcohol.

It remains unclear whether Netanyahu acted to help Milchan as part of a transaction between the two or if Netanyahu's role in helping Milchan renew his visa is at all related to subjects now investigated by Israeli authorities.

Neither the prime minister nor Milchan commented on the reports.

Netanyahu's attorney, Yaakov Weinrot, referred to the presents Milchan supposedly gave Netanyahu in the past.

"There's nothing wrong in receiving cigars as a gift from a friend," he said. "Every person with a bit of common sense can understand that if an acquaintance or a close friend brings a friend cigars, there is and there cannot be anything wrong with it and it is certainly not a criminal felony."

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