September 28, 2022

Hadas Klein, the latest witness in the corruption trial of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, could have come from among the representatives.

Within two days of charming testimony, the 57-year-old Klein—manicured, expressive, self-confident, and styled with style—appeared just as she is: a top-notch executive assistant who has been a witness to extraordinary events.

In the middle of Wednesday’s recitation, her testimony took a turn that could have been taken from a mafia court. Klein, camp assistant to Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood producer and close friend of Netanyahu, for the past 30 years, has been describing her efforts to conceal the identity of the beneficiary of her purchases from Cookie, the owner of a Tony cigar shop in the posh Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya.

“Cookie – That’s His Name” wanted to know who was enjoying the Cuban cigars you buy from them for as much as $27,328 a year.

I was paying for everything with my personal credit card because I was trying to protect Netanyahu. I didn’t want to put it on my Arnon credit card to protect it. The cookie never gave us a discount, but he was giving us Dominican cigars as gifts…I kissed her and asked Arnon about it, and he said, “Sure, why not?” Of course, we had nothing left. We have passed on gifts to Mr. Netanyahu as well.”

I pressed the cookie. “The cookie told me that a very small club of people in the country consumes this length and diameter of cigars, so who is it?”

And I remembered that two Monte Christo cigars cost $630. She said Netanyahu enjoyed immersing her in Cointreau before plunging into the smoke.

But Klein brought more than her memories. As a meticulous record keeper, she provided investigators and the court with all receipts, invoices, and bank transfers relating to these purchases and many more. Her text messages about purchases and merciless disposal were shown on a screen in the small courtroom of Justice Rivka Feldman-Friedman.

Klein was the central gear of A “well-organized mechanism” of Netanyahu’s illegal demands for goods from wealthy “friends”, and the distribution of the resulting “gifts”, which Israeli prosecutors believe constitutes corruption.

Like Cassidy Hutchinson, Klein was a witness to Netanyahu’s most intimate behavior, like Hutchinson, she was overlooked by figures in power and, like Hutchinson, framed her testimony as a patriotic act.

“I am fulfilling my obligations as a citizen of this country,” she told reporters in the lobby surrounded by police bodyguards. I have been asked to testify and this is what I do. I’m doing what would have made my parents proud.”

During her testimony, which also included unflattering photos of Milchan, Klein worried that she might lose her job.

Klein differs from previous high-profile witnesses in Netanyahu’s trial, in which he faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate criminal cases that, one way or another, include allegations that he abuses his position for personal gain.

Nir Hefetz, the head of Netanyahu’s intimidating telecom store, and Shlomo Filber, the former director general of Israel’s Communications Ministry under Netanyahu, were both impressionable but reluctant witnesses, who testified on behalf of the state only as part of the plea bargains they hoped to keep them away. Criminal trial.

Hefetz testified that “in all matters relating to media, [Netanyahu] He is much more than a control freak… “Netanyahu spends at least as much of his time on the media as he spends on security matters.”

Echoing Netanyahu, Filber described the trial as a “witch hunt,” and Description Unenthusiastic receive orders directly from The prime minister, who demanded a “relaxation” of regulations for Shaul Elovitch, the darling who headed the largest telecom conglomerate in Israel at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The cigars were for Netanyahu.

On the contrary, Klein testified voluntarily, even with what appeared to be relief, and is not suspected of any crime.

She described Netanyahu’s repeated calls to her mobile phone, claiming he had permission from a “legal counsel” for the gift stream he demanded to provide to his wife. The Prime Minister stuck to his friend’s assistant: “You don’t understand.” “She’s just upset because the media is slaughtering. Give her whatever she wants. I’ve checked that all this is allowed. Don’t spill her blood like the media does.”

Klein described a gigantic staff device with which Netanyahu seized an unlimited flow of luxury goods from Milchan, who grumbled about it, telling Klein “We have no choice. There is no other way with them,” and Packer, whom she described as a weak bunch of Netanyahu.

“She enjoyed her closeness to power,” Milchan said. “He liked to say he was a friend of the prime minister,” but he was an unhappy participant in the scheme that involved hiding pink Dom Perignon champagne cases in coolers.

In March 2016, Klein recalled, when she returned home from a private trip to Cuba — celebrating her 50th birthday — an enraged Netanyahu claimed she only got a 54 Cohiba cigar, not his favourite, a Cohiba 56. “You can’t get them anywhere,” she said. . “There was nothing.”

The Netanyahu family spoke to her in code, referring to cigars as “leaves” and champagne as “pink” but she was direct and to the point with regard to other demands, Klein claimed. She said Sara Netanyahu’s request for a specific gold ring and necklace from a fashionable Tel Aviv goldsmith was relayed to Klein after a phone call in which Milchan, who is expected to testify later in the trial, obtained the prime minister’s express permission.

Klein’s testimony was full of interesting details and pearls. In contrast to Netanyahu, she described Yair Lapid, the current interim Israeli prime minister – Netanyahu’s rival in the upcoming 2022 elections – refusing to hand over a bouquet Milchan sent when he was appointed finance minister in 2013. When Milchan forgot the once-relevant set of headphones in Lapid’s home, “Arnon told me to just tell him to leave them there. Yair called me and said ‘Impossible.’ He sent the driver to pick her up.”

It conveyed memories of the time Hugh Jackman allegedly met with Netanyahu, which became another opportunity for the prime minister to grab cigars. Judge Moshe Baram, a member of the three-judge panel that heard the case, asked Klein how she knew “the cigar wasn’t the actor?”

Klein replied, “Because I was there. The cigars were for Netanyahu.”

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