Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen helped secure his daughter a job at a firm with links to a senior Emirati official while still serving as head of the spy agency, Israeli television reported Monday.
According to Channel 12 news, Achinoam Cohen Ganonyan began working for Group 42 earlier this year before her father’s term as Mossad chief ended.
She was reportedly employed as an office manager at the company’s local branch, which opened after Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalized diplomatic ties last year as part of the US-backed Abraham Accords.
Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s national security adviser and a member of the royal family, is the chairman of Group 42.
The website of the Abu-Dhabi based firm, also known as G42, says it specializes in artificial intelligence and cloud computing.
In July, Group 42 signed an agreement with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries to cooperate on researching and developing technology to help battle COVID-19.
Responding to the report, Cohen said he never discussed his daughter or her job with Sheikh Tahnoon.
“Any other claim is a complete lie,” he told the network. “My daughter was hired as a temporary administrative secretary of an Israeli company that is a subsidiary of G42.
“My daughter’s employment began in March, at the end of my tenure, and many months after the signing of the Abraham Accords,” he said.
Cohen’s term as Mossad chief ended in June, when he was succeeded by David Barnea.
Days later, he was appointed as the head of Israel operations for Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank.
Cohen, who was appointed by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has said he does not rule out seeking to become prime minister one day, though he is not yet contemplating such an ambition.
In August, police began probing several claims against Cohen, including that he was illicitly gifted $20,000.
Cohen admits receiving the cash gift from billionaire Australian businessman James Packer for his daughter’s wedding, as first reported by Haaretz in May.
In a TV interview in June, shortly after retiring as the head of the spy agency, Cohen spoke for the first time about the incident.
He claimed to have accepted the funds after consulting Mossad’s legal adviser, and said he was committed to returning the gift.