According to the prosecution’s statement, the new information is not directly connected to the testimony of state witness Nir Hefetz, a former aide of Netanyahu’s. In the wake of the announcement, Hefetz’s lawyers asked the Jerusalem District Court to postpone their client’s testimony scheduled for Tuesday.
Cohen was asked about his relationship with Packer following a Haaretz investigation, which revealed he had received a $20,000 gift for his daughter’s wedding, though the figure cited in ‚Uvda‘ was lower.
The recently retired Mossad chief, who is a close confidant of outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also asserted that „everything was done in consultation and with the approval of the attorney general“ and that Packer wanted to give „much more.“
James Packer wasn’t just another billionaire who developed relationships with Israel’s elite. The Australian media and casino tycoon with the troubled psyche mingled with those in the most secret circles in the country. Benjamin Netanyahu exploited him to the hilt – and he wasn’t the only one who did so.
The High Court, its president, Esther Hayut, the prosecution, Mendelblit, all have been subjected to brutal, ugly attacks. There’s no reason to envy them. But if there’s one thing they understand from their own life experience: Silence and capitulation is no way to stop a serial attacker.
Mandelblit’s indictment listed 333 potential witnesses, including Milchan and Packer, as well as U.S. casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a longtime supporter of Netanyahu, and Oracle Corp. co-founder and chairman Larry Ellison. Cosmetics heir Ron Lauder, another longtime Netanyahu associate, and British-American billionaire Len Blavatnik, also appear on the list.
Technological developments are obliging espionage agencies to adopt diverse methods of operation: not only to dispatch agents to enemy countries and to recruit local sources for intelligence, but also to dupe people into serving as agents without their knowledge, to use mercenaries and to rely on new capabilities, such as cyberattacks. To avoid biometric identification, as well as to evade security cameras, espionage organizations are being compelled to make increasing use of unwitting local agents.
The top two benefactors in the case, Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian casino mogul James Packer, reportedly stood to gain tax advantages determined by a change in their visa circumstances.
Both gave evidence in the investigation, and while police also recommended charging Milchan, Packer was not considered a suspect.
Monday’s report did not mention the second investigation, Case 2000.