The Israeli High Court of Justice on Sunday ordered opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu to repay $270,000 he received illegally from his late cousin Nathan Milikowsky.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the High Court of Justice ruled that the money, intended for Netanyahu and his wife’s legal defence, was given to the former prime minister because he was a public official. As a result, the court said, it was against Israel’s gift laws.
Netanyahu and Milikowsky were cousins, however, the court ruled that Netanyahu could not receive large amounts of money from his cousin because their relationship was commercial at the time. The funds were greater than what an acceptable gift from a family member would be.
Israeli news website i24 News reported that the late Milikovski explained to the then Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit that he provided the funds “to relieve Netanyahu of any financial worries while he was in an important public role.”
The court also ordered Netanyahu to repay the $566,000 loan he received from real estate tycoon Spencer Partrich in installments.
Judges ruled that the loan was a prohibited gift and that it could be repaid according to their agreement, under the supervision of the state comptroller.
The court found that the loan was given to Netanyahu without the intention for it to be repaid and that Netanyahu was due to receive another loan from Patrich however that did not happen.