Transcript of Bibi Netanyahu Interrogation

The Times of Israel published an undated, leaked  transcript from part of the Case 1000 investigation in which Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit says Bibi Netanyahu did favors at tax payer expense for film producer Arnon Milchan and an Indian investor called Ratan Tata.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/grilled-on-chartering-chopper-for-billionaire-pm-repeated-i-dont-remember/

The charges at this point are minor compared to what might be approaching. What I find shocking is the tone of the interrogation, more than the subject matter, which mainly deals with use of a military helicopter ride for investors looking into a Free Trade Zone for a super wealthy  and powerful family based in India.  Netanyahu refuses to answer the simple question as to whether or not he arranged the helicopter ride.  All the King says is, “I don’t remember”.  Both men, it seems to me, are aware that this line of questioning is actually about something else entirely.

This is like the moment of seeing the handwriting on the wall, when you just know that you’re doomed, but it hasn’t happened yet.

Mandelblit’s 55-page document announced the draft charges to Netanyahu, “Milchan asked you in 2010 to help promote a project in partnership with Ratan Tata, an Indian businessman, which included the construction of a free-trade zone with cooperation between Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority, that would contain a plant for manufacturing low-cost vehicles and a school for vehicle-related professions. The project’s construction required large-scale legislative amendments. Milchan had a significant financial interest in promoting the project.”

“You acceded to Milchan’s request and carried out, within the framework of your position, a series of actions to move the project forward, on your own and through civil servants subordinate to you. As part of this, you met with Milchan’s financial representative, accountant Ze’ev Feldman, who told you about the project; you met Tata, Milchan, and Feldman in a joint meeting, and you summoned Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, then the coordinator of government activity in the territories, for an immediate meeting so that he might examine the possibility of promoting the plan; you made arrangements with defense officials in order to allow Tata and Milchan to fly to Jordan in order to meet with the king of Jordan, and you also arranged matters such that meetings headed by the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office would be held at the Prime Minister’s Office in order to examine the promotion of the project.”

The transcript below shows then-head of the National Police Unit for Financial Crimes, Coresh Barnor, putting pressure on Netanyahu to explain why he had organized a helicopter tour for Milchan of a potential free trade zone near the Jordan-Israel border even after he was advised against it.

“The project in question was a 2009 proposal for Tata Motors, which includes the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, to build a low volume automotive assembly plant in the West Bank intended to provide skilled jobs to Palestinians. The estimated $250 million plan, which was proposed as part of an Israeli-Jordanian peace initiative, was set to include a free trade corridor to Haifa to offset higher logistic costs in Israel, the company said.”

“The prime minister is suspected of trying to push the deal at the request of Milchan, against the opinion of officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defense Ministry,” police said in their recommendations.

A high level former Defense Ministry official, who asked to remain unnamed, confirmed to The Times of Israel that the ministry expressed its opposition to the project.”

So why was Bibi so adamantly going ahead anyway?

”I have supreme interest in India”, Netanyahu says.  This means that he’s putting India ahead of Israel. That’s what supreme means. Is this more selling of one’s country, like the Saudi Kings are doing, and elected politicians in Costa Rica and America?  Am I getting a whiff of treason?

A translation of the transcript is as follows:

Investigator Barnor: “You asked to arrange a helicopter to Jordan for Milchan?”
Netanyahu: “I don’t remember. Possibly. I don’t remember.”
“What?”
“Possibly.”
“He says so.”
“I believe you’ve asked me once, I told you that it could be.”
“Do you remember arranging it for him?”
“Possibly.”
“You gave permission to the army? To the Mossad?”
“Yes, its definitely possible.”
“This is an acceptable thing to do?”
“Why not? Why not?”
“What do you mean ‘why not’? It’s a private businessman. Two private businessmen.”
“What private businessman? There are two things here…”
“Two private businessmen. He came to close a deal here…”
“No deal! Listen, Firstly, you asked me if I knew of any business connection between Milchan…”
“No, I asked about the helicopter.”
“Wait a moment! I don’t know of any business connection between Milchan and [Indian Billionaire Ratan] Tata. You asked me that. The second thing I know is this: I’m interested in this project, it fits exactly with the idea of…”
“We talked about this, but why the chopper? Do you usually arrange a helicopter for people?”
“Excuse me, if you do not mind…”
“Is it okay to arrange a state helicopter?”
“First of all, there have been cases of such instances… and the air force… what are you talking about?”
“What about private businessmen?”
“Tell me, are you talking to me? People come, contribute to the state, tours are done for them.”
“But they didn’t come to contribute to the state.”
“He did come to contribute.”
“Do you usually arrange helicopters for people?”
“Just a second, one second, I see it… Listen…”
“Who else have you arranged a helicopter for?”
“Listen…”
“Who else for?”
“Wait a moment… [Yes] I have arranged!”
“Give me an example.”
“I have [examples].”
“Give me an example.”
“Let me remember…”
“Give me one now, remember now. Don’t pull some document from a drawer in a year. Give me one now.”
“Wait … I can’t remember… How do they say? There were … there were things like that.”
“Give me one example.”
“I don’t know, I’ll find one.”
“One!”
“I don’t remember, but wait … Let me continue.”
“Two businessmen come, including Milchan… asking for a helicopter, it costs tens of thousands of dollars to the taxpayer…”
“You’re asking me about the helicopters?”
“…and you pick up the phone and arrange a helicopter for them!”
“Now I’ll tell you why I arranged a helicopter for them, if I arranged it.”
“You did arrange it for them.”
“Okay, and I … now … If I arranged it, I’ll tell you why…”
“Who did you arrange it with? From the army?”
“I don’t remember.”
“How is it done? How do you do that?”
“I don’t remember, but I want to continue for a minute, why did I arrange a helicopter for him?”
“To promote a deal.”
“Listen carefully …”
“That helps both them and the state.”
“Bullshit! Wait a moment.”
“How it helps the State, you’ve already explained…”
“Now I’ll tell you the truth. Your theory does not match the truth. Why?Because [this deal] is an accumulation of many things that I believe in… in the strengthening of economic peace… as a carrier of peace, and here someone comes up with a project that exactly fits the notion I believe in, of a trade zone between Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians! He is also prepared to invest in this… There is something industrial here that an Indian industry giant is bringing and I am very interested in promoting it. It is a national thing. I had no idea that Milchan was involved. I have a supreme interest in India… Do you know what it does for the State of Israel?”
“Wait a minute, watch out for the… Okay, we know.”
“No, no, no. You asked me why I was doing this, what my vision was, why I was doing it — here’s why.”
“We are talking about the helicopter sir!”
“No! Listen carefully! You do not…”
“You’re giving a speech now.”

This is a photo of Ratan Tata, in whose country Bibi is supremely interested.

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