Hollywood mogul tells police champagne, cigars for Netanyahu not bribes

Israeli-born Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan has denied bribing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his recent questioning in London by Israeli police investigators.

Milchan, who was questioned as a suspect in the criminal investigation known as Case 1000, told police the hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of cigars and champagne he gave to the Netanyahus was in the context of their longtime friendship, and that he did not seek anything in return from the prime minister, according to Channel 2.

Police had suspected suspicions that he bribed Netanyahu in an effort to advance his business interests in Israel and abroad. Particularly, Milchan allegedly helped to orchestrate the sale of a controlling bloc of shares at Channel 10 to RGE Group, a media company owned in part by British-American billionaire Leonard Blavatnik.

According to Channel 2, Milchan dismissed those allegations, saying the sale to RGE group amounted to “pennies.”

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