Israel's Submarine Scandal: Former Head of Navy Held Day After Netanyahu Associates Arrested

Police investigation into wrongdoing in purchase of German submarines moves closer to Netanyahu day after six arrested; ex-Navy head held over bribery charges

Former head of Israeli navy, Vice Admiral (res.) Eliezer 'Chiney' Marom
Former head of Israeli navy, Vice Admiral (res.) Eliezer 'Chiney' Marom Alon Ron

Israeli police detained Tuesday the former head of the Israeli navy, Vice Admiral (res.) Eliezer Marom, over his role in Israel's so-called "submarine affair," and questioned him at the police's anti-fraud unit.

>>Israeli submarine scandal: What you need to know as the probe gets closer to Netanyahu

Deals for Germany to sell Israel three submarines and naval boats are the focus of two police investigations into possible wrongdoing involving a lawyer close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp's local representative.

Michael Ganor, a key suspect in Israel's 'submarine affair,' in court after his arrest this week.
Ilan Assayag

Marom was being held on suspicions that money that originated in bribes was transferred into his account.

A judge extended the custody of three suspects in the affair late Monday, including Michael Ganor, a defense official turned businessman who represented ThyssenKrupp in the multi-million dollar deal, and Avriel Bar-Yosef, a deputy Israeli national security council who played a key role in formulating the professional opinion supporting the deal. Ronen Shemer, a lawyer who works with Ganor, will also remain in custody.

Avriel Bar-Yosef, former deputy National Security Adviser, in court after his arrest this week.
Ilan Assayag

A lawyer considered close to Netanyahu who was one of the six arrested Monday morning was released to house arrest later in the day. Netanyahu himself is expected to give testimony as part of the investigation.

Ganor is suspected of money laundering, conspiracy with criminal intent and fraud. In explaining the decision to keep him in detention, the judge said there was "a real concern" for obstruction of justice by the suspect. Bar-Yosef is suspected of bribery, conspiracy, breach of trust and money laundering.

Two weeks ago, the Der Spiegel weekly reported that Germany's national security council authorized the sale of three submarines to Israel. According to the report, the German government added a clause into the agreement allowing it to cancel the deal if the allegations in the case that has been dubbed "Case 3000" prove to be true.

Police are probing allegations that Netanyahu’s personal lawyer, adviser and cousin lobbied defense officials on behalf of ThyssenKrupp for a multimillion-dollar submarine sale, as well as the sale of military ships needed to defend Israel's off-shore gas reserves.

ThyssenKrupp is represented in Israel by Ganor. Shimron also serves as Ganor's personal attorney, raising breach of trust suspicions. Shimron and Netanyahu deny that Netanyahu knew about the connection and Netanyahu is not currently a suspect.