The $300,000 that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received from his cousin were given illegally, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit told the High Court of Justice on Tuesday. In 2019, Haaretz revealed that Netanyahu had received $300,000 from Nathan Milikowsky for his legal defense, without obtaining the necessary approval.
In response to a petition from the Movement for Quality Government and the TLM anti-corruption group demanding that Netanyahu return the funds he received, the attorney general wrote that when he approved the gift in 2018, it was because the prime minister had claimed that Milikowsky was only his relative.
Everybody wants their vote. But what do Israeli-Arab voters want? LISTEN to our podcast
Mendelblit now says that an investigation into a related affair surrounding Netanyahu's shares in a company controlled by Milikowsky shows that the two men had a business relationship that takes priority over their family ties in determining that the gift was improper.
In 2019, Haaretz reported that Milikowsky, in his deposition for what is known as the luxury gifts case against Netanyahu, swore that he and the prime minister did not have a business relationship. The state comptroller's permits committee found, however, that from 2007-10, Netanyahu held shares in Seadrift Coke, a company controlled by Milikowsky that makes products for the steel industry.
- Amended indictment in Netanyahu corruption case says PM interfered with news site coverage 155 times
- Investigate Netanyahu's steel shares affair
- Netanyahu is lucky Adelson died before he could testify to prosecutors
According to sources close to the investigations into the prime minister, who is on trial for corruption in unrelated cases, Milikowsky told investigators in Apri ofl 2017 that his financial relations with Netanyahu revolved around the thousands of dollars that he gave him in cash. According to the sources, Milikowsky was asked explicitly if he and Netanyahu maintained business ties, which he denied.