Top Israeli Military Brass to Be Indicted in Submarine Affair

Avriel Bar-Yosef, former No. 2 at National Security Council to be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, pending hearing

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef (R) and his aide Shai Brosh, a reserve brigadier general in the Israel Navy.
Former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef (R) and his aide Shai Brosh, a reserve brigadier general in the Israel Navy.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum and Moti Kimche
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

State prosecutors said Thursday that Avriel Bar-Yosef, former deputy head of the National Security Council, and his aide Shai Brosh, a reserve brigadier general in the Israel Navy, will be indicted in the corruption case dubbed "The Submarines Affair," pending a hearing.

The case involves the acquisition of submarines from German shipbuilder Thyseenkrupp

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The indictment is to charge Bar-Yosef with seeking and accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust. Brosh is accused of passing messages and information between Bar-Yosef and former state witness Michael Ganor to advance the prospective submarine deals. Ganor is accused of seeking and accepting bribes, tax violations and money laundering.

Prosecutors said in December they intended to file an indictment in the case against the key suspects in the affair: former naval chief Eliezer Merom; Netanyahu’s attorney and confidant David Shimron; and Ganor.

The suspicions published in December said Ganor and Bar-Yosef, who got to know each other during their military service, met in 2009 when Bar-Yosef proposed they cooperate to advance Ganor’s being named as ThyssenKrupp’s agent in Israel, because he “wanted to get some monetary value out of it.”

Ganor agreed to the proposal and met at the time with Merom to get him involved as well. They and Bar-Yosef met with the general manager of ThyssenKrupp’s shipyards, Walter Freitag, to advance Ganor’s appointment to the position while the person who held the post at the time, Yeshayahu Bareket, was not allowed to attend the meeting.

At the meeting Ganor informed Freitag about his contacts in Israel’s leadership and the navy for the sake of advancing his chances of winning the appointment, with the assistance of Merom and Bar-Yosef. After Freitag’s visit and after negotiations between Ganor and ThyssenKrupp, Ganor was appointed as the corporation’s agent in Israel, replacing Bareket.

The suspicions outlined in December are that Bar-Yosef demanded that Ganor pay him for the action he took as part of his job: “Bar-Yosef’s attempts to receive compensation from Ganor were done via direct requests for blackmail … the blackmail requests were to the tune of millions of euros, which Ganor refused to pay.

“Following negotiations, Ganor agreed he would pay 120,000 euros ($132,000) for Bar-Yosef’s actions, in the guise of a false consultant’s contract.” The payments were transferred via Shai Brosh, who was close to Bar-Yosef, and hidden via fake receipts.

In addition, Bar-Yosef demanded an additional $2 million for the sixth deal for the purchase of submarines and the protective ships, and Ganor responded that he could do this through false mediation for real estate deals.

About Bar-Yosef, the suspicions are that “throughout his term with the National Security Council he led the council’s handling of the protective ships and the submarines,” and that “there was intense and frequent contact with Ganor as an agent of the corporation. The aim of the connection was to provide Ganor with information and help him advance the purchase of seaborne vessels from the corporation.”

Bar-Yosef’s attorney, Jack Chen, said, “Bar-Yosef firmly rejects the suspicions against him. He never asked nor did he ever receive any benefits for any actions linked to his job. These were done only for the sake of public interest and due to clean, professional considerations. We are convinced that a clarification of the suspicions by authorized people will lead to this conclusion.”

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