There is a corruption trial ongoing against the former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. His legal team tried to undermine the standing of a key witness during her cross-examination. It was her second day of taking the stand and she rebuffed the efforts of the defense of establishing her as a friend of Sara Netanyahu.
A top aide to Arnon Milchan, the Hollywood Mogul, Hadas Klein took the stand for a second day of cross examination by Amit Hadad, the defense attorney representing Netanyahu, on Wednesday. The proceedings are of the Case 1000 against Benjamin Netanyahu, which is about the luxury gifts that were given to the former premier and his family and the quid pro quos they had provided in return.
The charges in Case 1000 against Netanyahu are of breach of trust and fraud for accepting luxury gifts. It is alleged that he accepted luxury gifts from Milchan and intervened on his behalf when he wanted to renew his US visa and also provided regulatory benefits. He has also been accused of accepting luxury gifts worth NIS 691,776 from James Packer, the Australian billionaire.
Klein denies the accusations
A number of WhatsApp messages were put forward by the defense during the session, which showed warm correspondence between Klein and Sara Netanyahu. This included holiday greetings in 2015 over the Passover holiday and birthday wishes sent by the wife of the former premier.
But, Klein asserted that the two had never been friends. Hadas said that she had seen Sara Netanyahu’s testimony about her stealing. She stated that this was not friendship and Arnon had told her that she would not be Sara Netanyahu’s friend, if she did not give the gifts.
According to Hadas, the only occasion on which she had initiated was during Passover 2015 when she had sent a bottle of champagne to the family. The prosecution also tried to undermine Klein, saying that preferential treatment had been given to her during the case’s investigation. Hadad said that investigators had informed Klein that she was protected.
Klein stated that the protection referred to being a state witness, as she was not permitted to tell Arnon about the investigation.
One of Klein’s family friend responded to a question that had been asked of her during the examination session, which led to their removal from the courtroom. The judge barred the man from the courtroom after telling him that it was something very serious.
According to Klein, when her former employer had been called in for investigation, he had been frightened and had asked her to set up a date for it. She chose not to inform her employer that the police had interrogated her as well.
Hadad also presented a video of Klein during investigation when she had called Packer and asked him to visit Israel in order to testify. She made it clear that she was not supporting the investigators, but was worried that Packer would assume so. Therefore, she had specifically informed him that the authorities wished for him to come.