Jewish American billionaire Ronald Lauder was detained briefly for questioning by police last week, when he arrived in Israel to attend former president Shimon Peres’ funeral, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. Lauder was questioned about his relationship with the Netanyahu family.
The president of the World Jewish Congress was detained by investigators from Police Lahav 433 special unit after arriving in Israel. According to Lauder, he told police the move was “disrespectful.” He said, “I’m arriving here from a memorial service for the massacre in Babi Yar, and going to the funeral of a good friend, with whom I’ve partnered in political endeavors — and you’re detaining me.”
In the end, according to Lauder, he reached an agreement with police that in the coming few days either the Lahav 433 investigators would come to see him in New York, or he would show up in Israel prepared to give a full testimony. Lauder said he promised to answer all the questions honestly and openly, to help police get the truth.
According to Channel 2, the attempt to interrogate Lauder suggests police are sitting on solid suspicions against the prime minister and his family members, most notably his wife, Sara, since the permission to detain a foreign dignitary of Lauder’s stature likely required the consent of AG Avihai Mandelblit.
Back in April 2011, Sara Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 10 about Lauder: “He used to be our friend, he no longer is. He flew us around and hosted us more than anyone who is mentioned in [that year’s investigation], and his name is not even in [that year’s report].”
Lauder has been critical of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy regarding the Iran nuclear deal.
Back in September, Channel 2 News ran a report saying Netanyahu is being investigated on an alleged attempt to solicit a bribe. But the individuals police suspected of being the target of the PM’s solicitation, including Israeli born US businessman Ari Harow did not provide incriminating information.JNi.Media