AG: Netanyahu should give back $300,000 to late cousin’s estate

File: Nathan Milikowsky in 2013, in San Francisco (Drew Altizer Photography)
File: Nathan Milikowsky in 2013, in San Francisco (Drew Altizer Photography)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit says former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu should give back $300,000 to the estate of his cousin and benefactor, Nathan Milikowsky.

His legal opinion is submitted to the High Court of Justice as part of a petition on the issue.

Netanyahu is accused of accepting $300,000 from Milikowsky — who died in July — while serving as prime minister.

Netanyahu faces fraud and breach of trust charges in a case involving illicit gifts received from other wealthy benefactors. Milikowsky was reportedly questioned by police in the investigation, known as Case 1000, in which the prime minister is suspected of receiving some NIS 1 million ($282,000), most of it in cigars and champagne. Netanyahu reportedly claimed that some of the cigars he was alleged to have received he bought with his own money, while others he purchased with cash given to him by Milikowsky.

Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court, November 22, 2021 (Oren Ben Hakoon/Pool)

A separate case known as “the stock affair” was closed by Mandelblit in October. It pertains to allegations that Netanyahu illicitly profited to the tune of several million dollars from selling shares in a company to Milikowsky. Mandelblit’s office had been looking into the allegations for nearly a year and a half, after TV reports claimed Netanyahu made a suspicious return of over 700 percent on stocks he held in Seadrift Coke.

Mandelblit has acknowledged that the premier may have received significant benefits from his cousin in the affair, but says it is not clear he did so knowingly. He has also noted that the statute of limitations has long expired for the potential suspicions of fraud and breach of trust in the 2007 case.

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