Sara Netanyahu told the police that her husband, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, didn't know about the gifts she received from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, Channel 10 reported Friday. Her testimony supported the claims made by her husband during his questioning in the graft case.
"Bibi (Benjamin Netanyahu) really didn't know that I was receiving wine from Milchan," the prime minister's wife said in her statement, according to Channel 10. "He's a prime minister and a very busy person. He would come back for dinner, see wine on the table and didn't ask any questions about where it came from. The thought didn't even occur to him."
According to the report, Netanyahu also told investigators that the wine was "much cheaper" than what has previously been reported, and that she "doesn't drink expensive champagne."
The Netanyahus have been questioned on multiple occasions over the past few weeks, suspected of receiving extravagant gifts worth hundreds of thousands of shekels from Milchan and other wealthy businessmen that may legally constitute a form of bribery.
Like his wife, the prime minister has claimed he had no knowledge of the gifts she received. As for the expensive cigars given to him by Milchan, Netanyahu told investigators that many were paid for from his own pocket with money from a family member who gave him cash. He admitted to accepting some cigars as a gift, but argued that these were given from an old family friend and so did not pose a legal issue.
Sara Netanyahu also reportedly told investigators about a necklace given to her by Milchan, saying that it was made of beads and worth 200-300 dollars, "certainly not the amounts you're talking about. It's a necklace that's customary to give to friends."
Channel 10 reported that Netanyahu told investigators she had grown close to Milchan and that he had taken to calling her "sister."
Channel 2 reported Friday that the graft investigation, dubbed "Case 1000," is to be completed within four to six weeks.
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