Nir Hefetz, former aide of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informed Israeli police that Netanyahu and his wife had dinner at a Moscow restaurant in 2010 at an expense of $24,000, The Times of Israel reported on Friday.
This claim was published by Israeli Channel 13 on Thursday, the Israeli newspaper reported, noting that this information was given during the police interrogations into Netanyahu's corruption.
"In February 2010, there was an official trip to Moscow," Hefetz confirmed. "The prime minister and his wife went out to a restaurant, and were accompanied by former chief of staff, Gil Sheffer, and the head of the external affairs unit of the prime minister's office."
Hefetz added: "When Netanyahu and [wife] Sara returned, the prime minister showed me in his hotel suite a receipt, I do not remember the amount, I think around $800."
Then, Netanyahu told Hefetz: "You see, they say I do not pay at restaurants, but here I paid for my meal."
Hefetz continued: "I told that story later to Sheffer, and he mocked me for my naivete and told me this story that stunned me, the kind of story I had never encountered before."
"Sheffer told me that at the restaurant, the prime minister of Greece and his wife arrived unexpectedly and joined Netanyahu and Sara at the table. He said that as the evening progressed, they went wild with orders of cigars and expensive wines. He said that he [Sheffer] and a billionaire sat at a nearby table and just ordered fish, and that at the end of the meal they traded receipts with Netanyahu. When the bill came to Netanyahu's table, he sent it to them [Sheffer and the billionaire] to get paid," recounted Hefetz.
The former Netanyahu aide explained that he was "amazed" when he discovered that someone else would pay $24,000 for a meal for Netanyahu.
Commenting on this, the Likud party announced: "Another insane fable, untrue and completely fabricated, whose purpose is to hurt Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud on the eve of elections… But it will not help."
The Blue and White party also made comment on the alleged event: "The annual food budget of a family with two kids in Tel Aviv is NIS 27,000. One meal from the prime minister and his wife – about NIS 100,000. No wonder the intended finance minister does not know the price of a loaf of bread."