Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cousin Nathan Milokowsky, a businessman entangled in the former premier's corruption cases, has died, Netanyahu said Wednesday on Twitter.
"Nathan Milikowsky, my beloved cousin, passed away last night after a long illness," Netanyahu said. "He spent his last years fighting a horrible disease with the same courage and tenacity that he showed throughout his life. He will stay forever in our hearts."
In 2019, Haaretz revealed that Netanyahu had received $300,000 from Milikowsky for his legal defense, without obtaining the necessary approval. In January of this year, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit told the High Court of Justice the sum was given illegally.
The attorney general first wrote that when he approved the gift in 2018, it was because the prime minister had claimed that Milikowsky was only his relative. But he then claimed 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.
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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.