Barak Grilled on Money Funneled to His Daughters

Ehud Barak appears before a State Comptroller's Office hearing to answer questions on his transfer of control of companies once under his control to his daughters upon becoming defense minister.

Ehud Barak appeared at a State Comptroller's Office hearing last week for questioning on the methods by which he transferred control of companies once under his control to his daughters upon becoming defense minister.

Barak was accompanied by attorneys Ram Caspi, Navot Tel-Zur and Oded Eran to the hearing, which was called after the Knesset asked State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to examine the matter.

Ehud Barak’s daughter Michal, right, with the defense minister’s ex-wife Nava in 2007
Moti Kimche

Lindenstrauss' probe has focused on possible technical and procedural flaws in Barak's transfer of ownership of the companies.

A recently published investigation in Haaretz Magazine in Hebrew revealed that since Barak was appointed defense minister in June 2007, some NIS 6.5 million has been transferred to companies formerly owned by him and now under his daughters' control.

A year after losing the 2001 prime-ministerial election to Ariel Sharon, Barak launched Ehud Barak Ltd., an international consultancy firm. In June 2007, after assuming the Labor chairmanship, Barak transferred control of the company to his three daughters.

According to information obtained by Haaretz, Ehud Barak Ltd. took in around NIS 5.5 million from Israel and abroad. A subsidiary took in another NIS 1 million.

Sources close to Barak said yesterday, "All of the activity was handled legally. Since the day of his appointment to the government, Barak presented both his obligations and entitlements to the relevant authorities with full transparency."

Officials in Lindenstrauss' office refused to comment yesterday on when their opinion would be released, but sources close to the matter estimated it could be published in about two months.