Police are reportedly investigating whether Sara Netanyahu asked an Israeli-born Hollywood mogul at the center of a corruption case involving the prime minister to help cover tens of thousands of shekels worth of repairs at their private residence.
According to a Channel 10 report Tuesday, Sara Netanyahu asked Arnon Milchan’s secretary Hadas Klein several years ago whether the billionaire producer could cover the costs of damages to their home in Caesarea caused by a leak in their pool.
Milchan turned down the request, according to Channel 10.
In response to the report, a representative of Milchan told the television station: “We don’t address matters related to the police investigation and this isn’t to verify or refute the information.”
Milchan is a central figure in a criminal investigation known as Case 1000, that involves suspicions he gave the Netanyahus hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of cigars, champagne and jewelry in exchange for favors from the prime minister.
He was questioned in London by Israeli investigators last year. Israel’s national police chief later described Milchan’s testimony as “significant.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also a suspect in a separate investigation known as Case 2000, in which Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes are suspected of agreeing to an illicit quid pro quo that would have seen the prime minister weaken a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.
Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing in both cases.
On Friday, Hadashot TV news reported police have revised their plan to submit recommendations in the two corruption cases against Netanyahu in the coming weeks, with the investigation now expected to wrap up by Passover, at the end of March.
Netanyahu himself appears to expect police to recommend charges against him, and has sought to downplay the importance of any such recommendation, recently telling a rally of Likud party members it was meaningless as state prosecutors, not police, make a final decision on indictments.