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A-G orders initial probe of ex-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen on Packer gift

CM 09/08/2021 1

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Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has ordered an initial probe of former Mossad director Yossi Cohen over a $20,000 gift his daughter received for her wedding from Australian billionaire tycoon James Packer.
Cohen was advised by a Mossad lawyer that accepting the gift was permitted, he said at the time. He later returned the money when the issue became controversial.
Cohen has said he regretted that he and his daughter accepted the gift, but he did not think it was problematic at the time in light of how wealthy Packer was and since there was no quid pro quo or request involved.
An initial probe does not mean there will be a criminal investigation. It is often used as a tool to research a sensitive issue for senior public figures when the attorney-general would prefer not to launch one unless the facts turn out to be worse than expected.

At this stage, Cohen would not be criminally questioned. But he could be called as a witness even though he has already given his narrative publicly.
Given the circumstances, the chances of a full criminal probe are low unless the initial investigation uncovers some quid pro quo or request by Packer.
Haaretz first reported about the saga, which led Cohen to eventually respond to the issue and has now apparently led to the probe by State Attorney Amit Aisman.
Packer has become a lightning rod on Israel’s political scene due to a number of probes he has been drawn into. They have harmed his business and led to him admitting he is bipolar and has been involved in controversial conduct on various occasions.
Many top Israeli officials on the Right and Left were close to the long-time Israel supporter and did not know of his problematic character at the time, Cohen has said.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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