Former Netanyahu Aide Ari Harow Detained for Questioning at Ben-Gurion Airport

The former chief of staff of the Prime Minister's Office is being investigated for a fictitious $3 million sale of a business development firm.

Netanyahu, left, and Harow, right, ahead of a cabinet meeting in 2014.
Reuters

Ari Harow, a former aide of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was detained for questioning on Thursday morning after landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Harow, who served as chief of staff at the Prime Minister's Office, is being investigated for his role in the $3 million sale of business development firm 3H Global, Haaretz reported two weeks ago.

Harow resigned from his post at the PMO in January 2015, and in recent months has been accused of falsifying the sale of his consulting firm. The sale price was stated as $3 million, but he allegedly did not receive the entire sum.

In December, Harow was questioned under caution — as someone who might be charged with a crime — by the police on suspicion of breach of trust and fraud and was placed under house arrest for five days.

The police are likely to decide whether to recommend perusing charges against Harow shortly.

U.S.-born Harow once headed American Friends of Likud, which has funded trips abroad by Netanyahu and his family. Harow has also raised funds for Netanyahu and served as Netanyahu’s bureau chief from February 2009 to March 2010.

It was in March 2010, after leaving that position, that Harow set up a private consulting and business development firm called 3H Global.

In September 2013, before returning to the Prime Minister’s Office as chief of staff, Harow pledged to sever his ties with the company. “I will not be involved at all in running it, and it will continue to operate under my business partners and my two brothers,” he wrote in the conflict of interest agreement he signed.

According to corporate documents Harow filed, 3H Global engaged in political consulting and business development. Its clients included the president of Paraguay, the city of Modi’in, the Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem and two American nonprofit organizations.

Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit has been holding intensive consultations in recent weeks about material related to Netanyahu and his associates.

On Sunday, Mendelblit announced that an investigation related to Netanyahu will be opened. "Following information received in matters pertaining among other things to the prime minister, and which has been presented to the attorney general by the police's investigations and intelligence department, the attorney general has conducted a number of discussions attended by the state prosecutor and other senior officials in the Justice Ministry and the police's investigations and intelligence department. Upon their conclusion, the attorney general has decided to instruct that an examination of the matter be opened," his office said.