Ratan Tata testified in Netanyahu graft probe, says Israel media; Tata’s office claims report ‘incorrect’

Ratan Tata 'testified to the police regarding suspicions that he was involved in a case in which the PM is alleged to have received gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels,' The Times of Israel said

By: PTI | Jerusalem | Published: November 5, 2017 6:47 pm
Ratan Tata, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Netanyahu corruption, Ratan Tata israel corruption, Tata Group, Ratan tata netanyahu relation, Arnon Milchan, Palestine jobs, Taj Hotel, Israel news The media said Ratan Tata was questioned when he visited Israel before the ‘Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit’ on October 31. File Photo

Ratan Tata has “testified” before the Israeli police in connection with allegations of corruption involving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reports in Israeli media said, which were denied as “factually incorrect” by the noted Indian industrialist’s office.

Tata “testified to the police for two hours regarding suspicions that he was involved in a case in which the PM is alleged to have received gifts valued at hundreds of thousands of shekels,” The Times of Israel reported. The investigation into allegations against Netanyahu related to the expensive gifts has been dubbed as Case 1000, and also involves Israeli businessman and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

According to a Channel 10 report, Milchan allegedly asked Netanyahu to promote a free trade zone near the Jordan-Israel border. The request by Milchan was allegedly made following consultations with Tata. The initiative never came through.

When contacted, Israel Police national spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said he had “no idea whatsoever”. Meanwhile, a statement emailed to PTI by Tata’s office did not deny the meeting between him and the Israeli officials. But it said the reports in Israeli media on the contents of the meeting were “factually incorrect and appear to have been motivated”. “Tata holds Netanyahu in high esteem and considers him to be a respected friend. Allegations such as those made seem baseless and highly motivated,” the statement said.

The Tata Group said a few days before the ‘Fuel Choices and Smart Mobility Summit’ on October 31 in Israel, a section of the press reported that in connection with their probe of Milchan, an Israeli investigative team might also speak to Tata while he was in Israel. It said Tata was advised to cancel his visit but as he had nothing to hide, he attended the conference in Tel Aviv as planned.

“Tata was requested if he would informally meet with members of agencies in connection with an ongoing probe in Israel as they wished to confirm certain facts relating to the investigations they were undertaking,” the statement said. “Tata agreed to meet them and two persons, presumed to be members of the agencies, met him at the David Intercontinental on November 1st. No IDs were offered,” it added.

The officers asked questions on how Tata had met Milchan and their business relations, if any. However, Tata clarified they had no business relationship other than a client relationship with a security advisory company for the Taj Group of Hotels subsequent to the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai where Tatas were later informed that Milchan had an interest, it said. Tata was also asked to recount events around a proposal in 2009 to build a low volume automotive assembly plant in Israel.

“Tata clarified that he was requested by a member of the Israeli security team to assist in preparing a concept plan for a project that was to be part of a peace initiative, to be built on the banks of the Jordan river with a free trade corridor to Haifa to offset higher logistics costs in Israel. It was intended to provide skilled jobs to Palestinians,” the statement said.

A concept layout plan for the plant was drawn up but was never costed. The peace initiative was never put in place and the project died a natural death, it said. It said that the team member queried Tata on a figure he read out from a sheet of paper he had, stating that Milchan was spearheading the project and that it was estimated to be $250 million.

“Tata immediately responded that he had never discussed this project with Milchan and the project cost had never been computed by Tatas. He stated that he had no knowledge as to how that figure was established. The number also seemed inordinately high for an assembly plant. They asked whether Netanyahu had been involved. Tata stated that there had been one meeting of about 10-15 minutes where Netanyahu was present at which he had suggested one or two preferred sites for the plant,” the statement added. It said Tata also “clarifies that at no time did he express or support a view that Netanyahu was involved directly and indirectly or derive any personal benefit from this project.”

Netanyahu is facing two separate criminal investigations, known as Case 1000 and Case 2000. Case 1000 revolves around alleged illicit gifts received by Netanyahu and his family from billionaire benefactors. Case 2000 focuses on an alleged clandestine quid pro quo deal made between Netanyahu and Israel’s largest-circulated daily Yedioth Ahronoth’s publisher and owner Arnon Mozes.

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  1. S
    Shive Shankar
    Nov 5, 2017 at 10:47 pm
    This case is same as Gujarat riot of 2002 where Modi was implicated falsely. Likewise Trump was humiliated by media. An Islamic conspiracy for sure, fuelled by Saudi and Mid East
    1. R
      Raja Gohil
      Nov 5, 2017 at 10:55 pm
      Are you a Yehudi or Yehudi plant? India loves all religions but will liquidate the Islamic terrorists. The Jew can not enter India, Germany, Russia, Iran, etc. and have their way as they have in the USA.
    2. D
      Dr. Ghamandi Singh Arya
      Nov 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm
      Modi has brought the Yehudi into India thus this is anti ted. I have no regard for the fellow Aryan Adolf Hitler yet we in India should learn from the European expedience. Besides India is not the USA that the Jew can do what they like. Both the Jews and Arabs are children of Ibrahim thus Semites and cousins. Must see the way the Jew butchers the mother cow in the video Eternal Jew on the U-tube. Yet I do not as a follower of Gandhji have any respect for such videos, though the cow slaughter by the Jew in this video is accurate. Martin Luther a brilliant thinker thought the Jews to be great liars. See on BBC News: Reformation: Four things about the 500th anniversary celebrations. In the end the Aryan Ratan Tata must not antagonize the Semitic Jew yet maintain his independence of the Tata group. The Jews use money and pleasant talk to enter people and nations and then on the back the game is totally different.
      1. A
        Nov 5, 2017 at 9:09 pm
        Since Ratan TATA is an Aryan and a Parsi, and since Israelis are also Aryan and since I am also an Aryan and a brahmin, I TOTALLY DENY THE INVOLVEMENT OF SHRI RATan TATA AND ALSO MY DEAR BLOOD(Y) BROTHER NETANYAHU IN THE GRAFT.
        1. H
          Nov 5, 2017 at 9:36 pm
          Aryan concept is so eighteenth century , exploited by the British , Hitlers Germany , some middle eastern regimes , neo s ...... get over it . In India the word aryan which comes from sanskrit means a noble man .
          1. D
            Dr. Ghamandi Singh Arya
            Nov 5, 2017 at 10:31 pm
            Jewish interpretation by paying money to get rid of the work Aryan and Swastika from the planet. Lord Ram is Aryaputra (the son of an Aryan). For the time being the Jew has no power to enter Iran and destroy this inscription of our Aryan Iranian cousins-I am Darius, the great king, the king of kings The king of many countries and many people The king of this expansive land, The son of Wishtaspa of Achaemenid, Persian, the son of a Persian, 'Aryan', from the Aryan race "From the Darius the Great's Inscription in Naqshe-e-Rostam" Note the Jew shall come back and again get pushed to the wall.
        2. I
          INDIA is
          Nov 5, 2017 at 7:42 pm
          Isr-ael creating fake hatered enviroment every where. Reli-ance- company become part of Isra-el, all policy coming from Isr-ael.
          1. I
            IL IN
            Nov 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm
            INDIA Is - how more stupid can you get? Israel is the best thing ever happened to the god-forsaken part of the world - the middle-east. Israel is the only democracy in that region, with a large minority of Arab population that is living (far) better than any of their cousins in the neighboring countries. Not only that - Israeli scientist won Nobel prizes. Israelis brought to the world so many innovations that marched (and continue marching) the mankind forward. Hell, you would still be flooding your fields in India if it was not for the Israeli irrigation innovation. I do suggest that before spreading lies to the world, pathetically hiding behind your keyboard, that you would check your facts. Albert Einstein once said: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - I guess in your miserable comment you have given Mr. Einsteins' argument a further proof.
            1. s
              Nov 5, 2017 at 8:58 pm
              this comment appears to be coming from a member of peaceful religion
              1. S
                Shive Shankar
                Nov 5, 2017 at 10:45 pm
                You seem like a typical Madrassa educated skull cap big beard no moustache guy, with zero brain but full hatred and violence! keep eating beef!
              2. P
                Prasann Singh
                Nov 5, 2017 at 7:18 pm
                Israel should first take care of david soros involvement in demeaning Netanyahu and playing politics of Israel from USA. Ratan Tata can't be involved in Israel fake probe.
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