State Prepares to File Indictments in Netanyahu Associates' Submarine Affair

Police ended investigation a year ago, and recommended that Netanyahu’s associate and cousin, attorney David Shimron, be indicted for involvement in bribery and aggravated fraud, as well as money laundering

Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out after a visit inside the INS Rahav, the fifth submarine in the fleet, after it arrived in Haifa port January 12, 2016
REUTERS/Baz Ratner

State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan and Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit held consultations in preparation for filing indictments in the submarines affair, known as Case 3000.

Their meeting attended by tax and finance lawyers involved in the investigation at the offices of Lahav 433, the police anti-fraud unit.

The case involves the decision to acquire submarines from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp Corporation.

The police ended their investigation a year ago, and recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s associate and cousin, attorney David Shimron, be indicted for involvement in mediating a bribe and for aggravated fraud, as well as for money laundering.

Other associates of Netanyahu are also accused of demanding and receiving bribes in exchange for promoting the submarine acquisition.

The Justice Ministry had no comment, nor would officials confirm or deny any of its details.

State prosecutors have accepted most of the police’s recommendations. Nitzan is ending his term of service in two weeks, and he has instructed prosecuting attorneys to wind up the case before he retires.

Police recommended indictments against officials including former deputy director of the National Security Council, Avriel Bar-Yosef, for bribery, fraud and communal breach of trust, and conspiracy to commit a crime; Brig. Gen. (res.) Shai Brosh for bribery, fraud and communal breach of trust, conspiracy to commit a crime, falsified invoices and money laundering; former Navy Commander Elizer Marom for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, conspiring to commit a crime, money laundering and tax violations; former cabinet member and head of the United Israel Appeal Eliezer Zandberg for bribery, fraud and breach of trust and falsified invoices; the former head of the Prime Minister’s bureau David Sharan, for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, conspiring to commit a crime, money laundering and violating election laws and party financing rules.

The case began with an investigative report on TV Channel 10 in November 2016, which led to an inquiry followed by a criminal investigation. It involves two deals signed by Israel and the German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp, one involving the purchase of three submarines for 1.5 billion euros, the other involving the purchase of missile boats for protecting gas drilling platforms, a deal worth 430 million euros.

Senior officers, commanded by Marom, public officials and Netanyahu associates are accused of taking bribes in exchange for promoting these purchases. In July 2017, businessman Miki Ganor, who was Thyssenkrupp’s representative in Israel, signed a state’s witness agreement after he was alleged to have been involved in corruption and bribery.

In March, Ganor denied any involvement in bribery, recanting his earlier testimony.