France Report

French businessman tells court he gave Benjamin Netanyahu one million euros

Arnaud Mimran, a French businessman on trial in Paris for his alleged role in a massive carbon trading VAT scam, has confirmed his financial links with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under cross-examination on Thursday May 19th, Mimran, who is also under investigation in a separate case of kidnapping and sequestration, said he had given Netanyahu one million euros. Mediapart understands the payment dates back to 2001. The Israeli premier has denied he received such a sum. Michel Deléan reports.

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The exchange lasted barely 30 seconds in the course of a lengthy trial, but it could have a major impact. On Thursday May 19th, during his trial over his alleged role in a massive carbon trading VAT scam, French businessman Arnaud Mimran was questioned at the criminal court in Paris about ten or so trips he made to Israel, beginning in 2009. The defendant was at pains to make clear that he was not connected with the Israeli network involved in the carbon trading affair, an affair which he swears he had no knowledge of. One name that features in the Israeli side of the case is the currency exchange and money transfer Albercom Ltd, which has been accused in the proceedings of having allowed around a hundred million euros in proceeds from the fraud to vanish.

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