Netanyahu's Office Files Police Complaint Over Son's Scandalous Recording

The premier's bureau is accusing Netanyahu junior's driver of recording Yair in strip clubs and keeping the illegal audio tape in his possession

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Sunday, February 4, 2018.
Jim Hollander (AP)

The Prime Minister’s Office filed a police complaint Saturday against the driver who allegedly recorded the prime minister’s son, Yair Netanyahu, on suspicion of possession of secret materials.

This follows comments made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two weeks ago before departing to India, when he said his son was a "trampled" victim of "unbridled, malicious aggression," and "a young man who loves the State of Israel with all of his soul."

In the recording, which was made public about a month ago by the Israel Broadcasting Corporation, the younger Netanyahu is heard outside a strip club telling the son of Israeli businessman and gas tycoon Kobi Maimon that the prime minister had set up $20 billion for the latter's father. “My dad set up 20 billion dollars for your dad, and you’re fighting with me about 400 shekels [$115]," Yair is heard saying in the 2015 recording. Netanyahu later said the 400 shekels was for a prostitute.

Kobi Maimon’s business interests include real estate and infrastructure. He is also a controlling shareholder in the holding company Equital, which has a stake in the offshore natural-gas production site Tamar through Tamar partner Isramco Negev 2 LPIsramco.

Also in attendance that night was Roman Abramov, who is the representative in Israel of Australian billionaire James Packer. According to the report, Abramov and Netanyahu were on their way to Packer’s apartment at the Royal Beach Hotel in Tel Aviv. A security guard and the driver of their official vehicle had earlier accompanied them from one strip club to another.

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Last month the Modiin Ezrachi security company filed a police complaint over suspicions of illegal recording of the conversation. The company’s security guards are under the professional supervision of the Shin Bet security service and are part of the unit responsible for security in the Prime Minister’s Office. The driver who allegedly recorded the conversation is not a Modiin Ezrachi employee, but works directly for the Prime Minister’s Office.