For a second day, Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan testifies remotely from England in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial, a day after detailing how he gave the premier and his wife Sara cigars, champagne and other gifts, mostly at their request.
Opening today’s hearing, lead prosecutor Liat Ben Ari asks Milchan about a piece of jewelry he bought for Sara Netanyahu — who is in the room for the billionaire’s testimony — which allegedly cost NIS 10,000. Milchan says he doesn’t remember the exact amount, but believes it was less than that.
She then asks him about gifts that Australian billionaire James Packer gave to the couple.
“I know that Packer really wanted to be connected and endear himself to Netanyahu,” Milchan says.
“I know he’s more generous than me,” Milchan adds, saying that for Packer NIS 100,000 “seemed a small amount.”
He is also asked by Ben Ari how the cigars and champagne impacted his relationship with the Netanyahus.
“[The gifts] didn’t influence [our friendship]. Until the investigation it never occurred to me there was a problem with our friendship. When the investigation began, I started to understand it was overdone,” Milchan says.
He also acknowledges that he never received a gift from Netanyahu or his wife.