Key Suspect in Israeli Submarine Scandal in Talks to Turn State Witness

Miki Ganor, the middleman in the deal to sell Israel German submarines and vessels, is detained by police and could potentially incriminate senior Israeli officials and politicians

Miki Ganor in court, Rishon Letzion, July 17, 2017.
Miki Ganor in court, Rishon Letzion, July 17, 2017. Ilan Assayag

Miki Ganor, the businessman at the center of the submarine scandal and the man who served as middleman between Israel and ThyssenKrupp, is in advanced talks to become state's evidence, Channel 2 reported Monday.

If Ganor turns state's evidence he could potentially incriminate senior Israeli officials and politicians, who were involved in the deal. Ganor's lawyer, Nati Simchony, quit due to the negotiations. He will be replaced by Eli Zohar.

The case involves Israel's purchase of three submarines and vessels from the German company Thyssenkrupp. Ganor was the German firm's local representative.

The negotiation between Ganor and the state began several days ago. Simchony, who had already quit during the weekend, said on Thursday: "Mr. Ganor didn't bribe anyone without naming names. He began working with the German shipyard at the end of 2009, without anyone's help and therefore his appointment as the shipyard's representative was made according to the law and unrelatedly, he didn't need to bribe anyone."

At a hearing Monday, a judge at the Rishon Lezion District Court extended Ganor's arrest until Thursday, after the sides came to an agreement concerning Ganor's release on that day.

The affair also includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal lawyer and cousin, David Shimron, who represented Ganor. Shimron, as well as former deputy national security adviser Avriel Bar Yosef, were also arrested in this affair.