A longtime confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu says the prime minister’s personal lawyer, David Shimron, did not receive “a single shekel as a bonus” for Israel’s deal to buy submarines from German industrial group ThyssenKrupp.
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Attorney Jacob Weinroth, who has also served as a lawyer for both Shimron and Netanyahu, made the statement Saturday evening on Israeli Channel 2 television’s “Meet the Press.”
According to Weinroth, Shimron was not involved in any way with the contract with ThyssenKrupp.
Shimron has been in the news because he has also worked for businessman Miki Ganor, the Israeli representative of ThyssenKrupp, which has sold submarines and missile boats to Israel. As a result, critics say Netanyahu has taken part in an improper conflict of interest.
Weinroth said Shimron did not receive “a single shekel.”
“He didn’t make money from the sub deal. David Shimron’s fees, for all his years representing Ganor in real-estate transactions and other matters, did not exceed 700,00 shekels [$180,830],” Weinroth said.
“Shimron won’t clip a coupon as a result of the agreement,” Weinroth added, using a metaphor referring to an interest payment on a bond. “David Shimron isn’t supposed to receive a single shekel as a bonus in the event the deal is signed with the German shipyard.”
Weinroth said he didn’t give the interview as the prime minister’s lawyer and that he had not discussed the matter with Netanyahu. He did say he was Shimron’s lawyer.
Separately, sources told Haaretz Sunday that Ganor had paid Shimron 715,000 shekels for legal services since 2012, including business with ThyssenKrupp.
Weinroth said that in accordance with directives to avoid conflict of interest, Shimron had consulted with the Defense Ministry’s general counsel, Ahaz Ben-Ari, regarding the tender for the missile boats, which protect the country’s offshore gas-drilling platforms.
“Israel wanted to buy boats. At one point a tender was suggested,” Weinroth said on “Meet the Press.”
“They forgot one little thing, they forgot that according to European Union regulations, when a tender is held the German government is prohibited from aiding the shipyards. As a result a situation was created in which a tender could have spoiled everything.”