Netanyahu: Funds I Got From My Cousin Are Permissible as I’m No Longer Prime Minister

'Knesset members are permitted to receive gifts from relatives to assist in funding legal expenses,' Netanyahu says after attorney general says he must return $300,000 gifted to him from his cousin Milikowsky

Chen Maanit
Chen Maanit
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Netanyahu in the Knesset, December 6.
Netanyahu in the Knesset, December 6.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Chen Maanit
Chen Maanit

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s position that he must return funds he received for his legal defense from his close associates, businessmen Nathan Milikowsky and Spencer Partrich, in a response to the High Court of Justice on Wednesday.

He argued that the gift from his cousin, who is since deceased, is permissible as he is currently an MK and not prime minister.

Netanyahu received $300,000 from Milikowsky and 2 million shekels (some $600,000) as a loan from Partrich.

Mendelblit submitted his position on the matter to the High Court about two weeks ago, stating that Netanyahu must return the funds, in response to petitions filed by the Movement for Ethics and the Movement for Quality Government, which demanded the same conclusion.

He argued that the gift from his cousin, who is since deceased, is permissible as he is currently an MK and not prime minister.

“Knesset members are permitted to receive gifts from relatives to assist in funding legal expenses,” he noted.

The attorney general wrote that the money from Milikowsky is “a gift that must be fully refunded pursuant to the provisions of the Gifts Law.”

He noted that the relationship between Netanyahu and Milikowsky is not only one of kinship and friendship, but according to information revealed in the stocks case, involves “business ties of significant scope.”

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