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Venetian's Macau Hearing Delayed

18 February 2004

Las Vegas Sun

MACAU – A hearing on an Israeli tourism entrepreneur's claims that he guided Venetian hotel-casino owner Sheldon Adelson's efforts to build casinos in Macau has been postponed.

A Feb. 10 hearing in District Labor Court in Tel Aviv was postponed when Adelson's attorneys said the owner of the Venetian had medical conditions that kept him from flying and appearing in court in Israel. Venetian officials confirmed that his doctors advised him against the flight, but offered no details as to his condition.

Moshe Hananel, president of Adelson's Interface Partners International Ltd. subsidiary until 2000, filed suit in December alleging breach of contract. The suit accuses Adelson and Interface of violating an agreement to grant Hananel options for 12 percent of Adelson's holdings in his Macau project in exchange for drafting the plan for Adelson and his partners to be licensed to operate in the Chinese resort city.

Adelson, through assistant David Friedman, characterized Hananel as a disgruntled former employee and an opportunist who is using the press and the media "to extort a settlement." Adelson filed a countersuit against Hananel, accusing him of misappropriating funds while working at Interface.

Hananel said he was "shocked, not disgruntled" to learn that Adelson and his attorneys claimed he had no role in establishing Adelson's Macau casino, which is due to open in the spring.

"Regarding opportunism, the only opportunist here is Mr. Adelson, who uses the fact that I'm blind now to expel me from my rights," Hananel said.

He also said Adelson's claims that Hananel did not assist in obtaining a gaming franchise were untrue and that documentation proving his claims would be presented in court.

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