Israeli police probe job given to friend of PM's son by Australian mogul: report
CHIP SOMODEVILLA (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/Archives)
In the course of an investigation targeting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel Police are probing why a friend of his son Yair was given a job by Australian billionaire James Packer, Israel’s Channel Two reported on Wednesday.
Police are examining expensive gifts such as champagne and jewelry allegedly given to the Netanyahu family by Packer and his friend Arnon Milchan, in what is known as Case 1000.
A stream of leaks from the investigation have appeared in local media, many concerning hospitality given by Packer -- who seeks high-tech investments in Israel and owns a home in glitzy Caesarea -- to Yair, both in Israel and the United States.
The latest television report claimed that Roman Abramov, a twenty-something friend of the Netanyahus’ oldest son and nightclub promoter, had been given a well-paid job as a business development manager for Consolidated Press Holdings, Packer’s personal investment firm.
According to the report, Abramov has no known experience or qualifications that would suit the role.
The report further claimed that Abramov spent time at Packer’s apartment in Tel Aviv’s Royal Beach Hotel, but that he had left his position at the company in the last few months and contact between Packer and Netanyahus was severed police began investigating last year.
A spokesman for Consolidated Press Holdings did not respond to a request for comment on the report when contacted by i24NEWS.
In a lengthy profile published in the Weekend Australian Magazine last month that explored Packer’s personal and business life, he refused to answer any questions about his role in the affair.
The Netanyahu family told the channel that "the wave of leaks continues in a non-coincidental fashion and the familiar method: The weaker the argument, the stronger the leak” and said that police testimonies are being recycled “all in order to harm the prime minister and his family.”
Police are also reportedly investigating the prime minister in Case 2000, which centers on the suspicion that he promised media baron Yoni Mozes that he would curtail the distribution of the Israel Hayom newspaper in exchange for receiving positive coverage from Mozes’ own media empire.
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