Sharon Pulwer and Narak Ravid, Haaretz
Paris court says evidence shows Arnaut Mimran gave Netanyahu the sum, but a Haaretz investigation reveals State Comptroller received no reports of such a donation in last decade; Netanyahu: 'I received the money as a private individual for public diplomacy campaign for Israel.'
Image from article, with caption: Benjamin Netanyahu with Arnaud Mimran. Monte Carlo, Monaco.
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Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has instructed that an examination be made of suspicions against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised by the court testimony of French businessman Arnaud Mimran, Channel 10 News reported last night.
Mimran, who is the key suspect in a huge fraud case in France, told a Paris court that he gave 1 million euros to Netanyahu’s election campaign. During the court session the chairman of the judges’ panel said the payment to Netanyahu was in the evidence file. Mimran mentioned the payment when he was being questioned about his activities in 2009, but did not say specifically to what campaign he had contributed.
The Prime Minister’s Office responded: “Mr. Netanyahu received no prohibited contribution from Mimran. Any other claim is a lie. Mimran contributed to Netanyahu’s public activities in the early 2000s, when Mr. Netanyahu was a private citizen and fulfilled no political role. This activity included media appearances and many public diplomacy campaigns for the State of Israel, which were done in accordance with the law. Mimran, who is on trial for fraud in the hundreds of millions of dollars, is trying to deflect attention from his trial by means of another fraud.” ...
The Justice Ministry confirmed that the matter was under examination on The Justice Ministry confirmed that the matter was under examination on instructions from the attorney general and declined to give further details.