Press Conference With...JUVAL AVIV

So much about Juval Aviv is unconfirmable or comes tagged with that highly annoying cop-out caveat "based on true events". Apparently, he was a lethal Mossad assassin who led Israel's revenge attacks on the PLO terrorists responsible for the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, but there is no official corroboration.

Aviv's (apparent) activities were the inspiration for the 1984 book Vengeance, and he was a consultant to Steven Spielberg on the movie Munich, which was based on the book. The lead character, Avner, is meant to be him. Canadian author George Jonas and Spielberg were satisfied with Aviv's authenticity, but his exact involvement in either project is conveniently inked out.

To add to the confusion, Aviv has written a novel about a newspaper tycoon who is murdered while on his yacht (plot details: CLASSIFIED), but any suspicion that this is about Robert Maxwell would mean it's your medication time.

What is indisputable is that Aviv, now 59, was an Israeli army major and is now a top corporate private investigator living in New York. He has recouped billions in cash and probed the Lockerbie bombing and the Daily Mirror pension scandal.

A father of two, Aviv is 5ft 11, heavy set, with a handshake that squeezes like a python limbering up to prepare dinner. He wears a cosmetic department dose of Aramis. Despite his dark past, he is a cheery fellow, with darting brown eyes, who talks with enthusiastic abandon in a heavy Israeli accent, with some broken grammar. Somewhat incongruously, when you considering his undercover past, Aviv wears a circular gold CIA badge in the buttonhole of his immaculate blue suit. This badge acknowledges his current position as an anti-terrorism consultant on a task force to the American intelligence service.

So, here I am, interviewing the unconfirmed inspiration for a book and a film about unconfirmed events because he is promoting a book, which is most definitely not about Maxwell. Well, fine. Then, what follows is based on an unconfirmed conversation in a Westminster hotel. But, equally, it might be a load of nonsense I dreamt up after a long lunch with my KGB handlers.

Click here to view the full interview in PDF format

Click here to read The Web Edit version of this interview

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