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Thursday, 06 December 2018

Netanyahu precluded from using donations to fund bribery legal defence

A committee appointed by Israel’s State Comptroller Joseph Shapira has decided that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot accept donations from wealthy businessmen to fund his legal defence against bribery allegations, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Netanyahu had wanted to accept donations from his cousin, businessman Natan Milikovsky, and businessman Spencer Partridge.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reportedly said that Netanyahu’s criminal case barred such action.

On 2 December, Israeli police said they had found enough evidence to bring bribery and fraud charges against Netanyahu for allegedly awarding favours to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for more positive coverage of him.

Indian court orders detention for Briton in helicopter bribery investigation

An Indian court has ruled that officials may detain a British man regarding a bribery investigation into a cancelled $670 million helicopter deal between India and an Italian aviation company, according to reports.

Authorities in Dubai extradited Christian James Michel to India on 4 December to face charges related to allegations that he funnelled bribes to Indian contacts.

Authorities reportedly alleged in court documents that Michel transferred the money from a British subsidiary of Finmeccanica, now called Leonardo SpA.

India reportedly halted the deal once the bribery allegations surfaced, after receiving three AW101 helicopters.

Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for alleged sanctions violations

Canadian authorities have arrested the chief financial officer of Chinese tech company Huawei in relation to the company’s alleged violation of US sanctions on Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported, based on sources.

At the request of the US, the authorities stopped Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, on 1 December while she was in transit at Vancouver airport.

China has reportedly condemned the arrest, stating that “detention without giving any reason violates the human rights of the person detained”.

According to the journal the case is being investigated by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

UK suspends investment visas to combat money laundering

The UK’s immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, announced that as of 7 December, Britain will suspend an investor visa programme to tackle organised crime and money laundering, the BBC reported.

The visa scheme offered non-European Union residents a stay of over three years in return for a £2 million investment. 

The UK government’s Migration Advisory Committee has criticised the scheme, as it brought little economic benefit for British citizens.

The scheme will be reintroduced once an auditing system has been put in place. From next year, independent and regulated auditors will start assessing applicants’ financial and business interests, the Home Office said.

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