Israel's State Prosecutor Nixes State's Evidence Deal With Key Figure in Submarine Affair

Michael Ganor, who served as German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp's representative in Israel, recanted his testimony last March citing police pressure

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
Michael Ganor in Magistrate's Court, Rishon Letzion, Israel, March 20, 2019.
Michael Ganor in Magistrate's Court, Rishon Letzion, Israel, March 20, 2019. Credit: \ Ilan Assayag
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The Israeli state prosecutor said on Tuesday is canceling the state's evidence agreement with former navy official Michael Ganor, after he recanted his testimony in the case over alleged corruption in Israel’s purchase of submarines.

Ganor is now expected to be charged with bribery, money laundering and tax fraud as well as obstruction of justice.

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Ganor is a former senior Israeli navy official who was German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel. The case in which he has been implicated, dubbed Case 3000, involves alleged corruption over Israel’s purchase of submarines and missile boats for the Israel Navy. In recent months, he has expressed dissatisfaction over the state’s evidence agreement in his case, calling it draconian and divorced from reality.

Last March, Ganor backtracked on the deal."I agreed to sign a state's witness agreement only because the police threatened to arrest my wife and daughters – I couldn't take the pressure," he said. "

In November, the police announced that it found sufficient evidence to charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer, David Shimron, with facilitating bribery in the affair. Shimron, who is also Netanyahu’s cousin, began representing Ganor in 2009. Police say Ganor used the family connection to Netanyahu to advance ThyssenKrupp’s interests in what became a deal worth nearly $2 billion for the company.

Police also recommended charging Netanyahu’s former bureau chief, David Sharan, former navy chief Eliezer Marom and two other ex-navy commanders on similar bribery counts in the case. Ganor served in the navy with Brig. Gen. (res.) Avriel Bar-Yosef, who police also recommended to charge.