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Mossad chief could be probed over ties with mogul embroiled in Netanyahu case

Incoming Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, pictured October 15, 2015, was one of two Israeli negotiators on a team that hammered out a reconciliation with Turkey drafted in secret in Switzerland and announced December 17
Gali Tibbon (AFP/File)
Alleged kickbacks to Yossi Cohen said to include tickets to a Mariah Carey gig

Israel’s State Attorney will assess whether the graft allegations against Mossad director Yossi Cohen are serious enough to warrant launching a full-blown investigation, local media reported.

Cohen is suspected of receiving gifts worth thousands of shekels from Australian businessman James Packer, including stays at luxury suits and tickets to a Mariah Carey gig, Ynet and Channel 10 News specified.

Cohen would’ve received the kickbacks at his previous position as the head of the National Security Council, which he held until being appointed the head of Israel’s storied intelligence agency.

The Australian billionaire is also embroiled in the corruption probe into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; he is alleged to have been one of a number of wealthy benefactors who paid for gourmet meals for the Netanyahus at their family villa in the seashore community of Caesarea, as well as expensive cigars and champagne.

The Australian entrepreneur's connection to Netanyahu has been scrutinized in the past, after Channel 10 reported last year that the Israeli Prime Minister's son, Yair, had been treated by Packer to vacations in luxury hotels in Tel Aviv, New York, and Aspen, as well as the use of his private jet and tickets to concerts by Carey, Packer’s ex-fiancée.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing on his part, while his lawyer has dismissed the possibility of criminal charges over such gifts, saying that "any reasonable person" understands that a "close friend" giving cigars as a gift was not a criminal offense.


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