Former Israeli Prime Minister and election candidate Ehud Barak held a multi-million-dollar business partnership with Jeffrey Epstein, the US billionaire who was this week arrested for sex trafficking underage girls.
According to an exposé yesterday by Israeli daily Haaretz, Barak – who served as Israel’s Prime Minister between 1999 and 2001 and recently announced his formation of a new party, Democratic Israel, ahead of the country’s general election in September – held business ties with Epstein as recently as 2015.
Epstein is a US billionaire who made his fortune on Wall Street and is known to have close relationships with influential political figures, including former US President Bill Clinton and current US President Donald Trump.
In 2008 Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting underage girls for prostitution, paying dozens of 14 and 15-year olds to perform sex acts over a period of six years. He spent 13 months in county jail, but was given lenient terms under which he was allowed to leave prison six days per week to go to work.
On Saturday, Epstein was arrested on fresh charges of sexually exploiting underage girls at his New York and Florida mansions, as well as “recruiting” other teenagers to carry out sex acts. He pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy to sex traffic minors.
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Now Haaretz has exposed that Barak had close ties with Epstein as recently as 2015. It was previously known that the pair held connections, with an Israeli journalist last year reporting that, in 2004, Epstein gave Barak $2.3 million for “research”. The details of this research were never exposed, with Barak refusing to comment on his work as a “private citizen”.