Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was permitted to attend the remote testimony of Israeli businessman Arnon Milchan at her husband’s corruption trial, the Jerusalem District Court ruled on Tuesday morning.
Following Netanyahu's lawyer Amit Haddad’s request on Monday that Netanyahu’s wife be present at Milchan’s cross-examination, the court said “permitted is the presence of the accused and a first-degree relative.”
Milchan accused of giving expensive gifts to Netanyahu family
Milchan, who is accused under Case 1000 of giving expensive gifts to the Netanyahu family in return for aid in obtaining a US visa, will testify from the Israeli Embassy in London in a video call. The businessman claimed to be too ill to travel, so the prosecution had requested a remote testimony. Despite the defense’s objections, the court approved the video testimony last Monday due to the centrality of Milchan to the case.
The remote testimony will take 10 days, on June 18 until June 22, and from June 25 to June 29.
Lawyers from each side will be on-site in London to conduct the cross-examination. However, if the court determines that there are difficulties in conducting the proceedings in such a manner, all parties will be returned to Jerusalem save Milchan. The testimony would then continue with the attorneys in a Jerusalem court.
Former Netanyahu chief of staff Ari Harow testified on May 9 how Milchan had left champagne for Sara in the kitchen and cigars for the prime minister in his library when he had visited.
Harow also related how at a meeting, Milchan had allegedly asked the prime minister to speak to then-US secretary of State John Kerry about the businessman’s visa issues. Harow said that he remembered a call between Netanyahu and Kerry in which the subject was raised.
The cross-examination of Harow by Netanyahu’s lawyers is expected to end tomorrow.