New evidence from billionaire Arnon Milchan's testimony in Case 1000 against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was published by Channel 12 Thursday night. "They also asked for coats, I felt disgusted," Milchan reportedly told investigators in the case, which deals with fraudulent favors granted to Netanyahu and his wife Sarah. Investigators found that the Netanyahu couple and their benefactor, Milchan, used code names.
In one of the testimonies he gave, Milchan was asked how the prime minister used to ask him for cigars and answered:
"He would call and say, 'Tell me, are there any leaves?' Netanyahu calls cigars 'leaves.' In Cuba they are grown and folded, are they not?
The investigator then asked "What happens if Bibi asks for leaves and there are none in stock?"
"Whatever happens, happens," Milchan responded. "The day after Sarah was questioned by the police and asked for 'pinks,' I told her I had no 'pinks' in the house, and she said maybe we would find Yonatan (the driver) who would get them ... I told her that I let Yonatan off for the weekend, but on Sunday, I would ask him to find 'pinks' for you ... Sarah told me that Yonatan the driver would coordinate with Effi (from the Prime Minister's Residence)."
Other exchanges from Milchan's testimony to the police included:
Investigator: "Were there occasions when cigars and champagne were requested even when you were abroad?"
Milchan: "Correct... At second thought, only the demand for 'pinks' came up when I was abroad..."
Investigator: "Is it possible you don't remember that you told Hadassah Klein (the personal assistant) to buy the Netanyahu couple whatever they wanted? "
Milchan: "That's right."
Investigator: "Did the Netanyahu couple ask you to buy them 'coats'?"
Investigator: "How did you feel?"
Milchan: "Disgusting. I think that low wages lead to excessive requests ..."
Investigator: "Mr. Milchan, did Netanyahu ever give you gifts?"
Milchan: "Do you know him as someone gives gifts? The answer is no."
Investigator: "Has Sarah Netanyahu ever brought you gifts of any kind?"
Milchan: "Do you want me to fall on the floor from laughter? The answer is no."
Investigator: "Have you ever given other politicians gifts like you gave Bibi and Sarah?"
Milchan also testified regarding the friendship between James Packer and the Netanyahu's son, Yair.
Milchan said "I talked with Bibi about Yair being very much with Packer, and I told him that I thought it was unhealthy. That rumors were circulating about his son, the son of the prime minister, being a lot in James' apartment, even though there is nothing wrong with it."
The investigator asked "How did Bibi react?"
Milchan: "He said, Yair is a grown up, I can't tell him who his friends should be."
Investigator: "Did you expect another answer?"
Milchan: "I expected a different response ... I thought that friendship doesn't need to become hedonism."
The response on behalf of the prime minister said "We are adding this twisted leak, number 125, to 124 of the previous leaks we submitted to the attorney-general. The verdict against such criminal leaks is up to three years in prison. We ask again, when will even one of our complaints be investigated? And by the way, over the years, the Netanyahu family has given many gifts to Arnon Milchan, his wife and children. "
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit announced three months ago that he intends to charge Netanyahu with fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000, even though senior officials in the State Prosecutor's Office believed that he should be tried for bribery.
Netanyahu was accused of receiving NIS 700,000 worth of champagne and cigarettes from tycoons James Packer and Arnon Milchan. "Every time the favors were given, Netanyahu received from Milchan a box or boxes of cigars, not a single cigar."
"A box contained 10 to 25 cigars. The value of each box ranged from NIS 2,000 to NIS 3,000. As a rule, each time, a case of six bottles of champagne was given, and sometimes two cases, rather than a single bottle. The cost of each bottle of champagne ranged from NIS 250 to NIS 350, making the cost of every six bottles from NIS 1,500 to NIS 2,100."
According to Mandelblit, the benefits were given to Netanyahu frequently enough to say that there was a "supply line" for cigars and champagnes.
Netanyahu received these benefits due to his public role and status as prime minister, Mandelblit wrote, adding that Netanyahu carried out various governmental actions in favor to Milchan, even though he was facing conflicts of interest.
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