Two Netanyahu Confidants Grilled by Police for 15 Hours in Submarine Scandal

David Shimron, the prime minister's attorney and confidant, and another associate were released under restrictive terms

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after delivering a speech in the Knesset, Jerusalem, October 24, 2017.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after delivering a speech in the Knesset, Jerusalem, October 24, 2017.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's attorney and confidant, David Shimron, and another associate were interrogated by police for 15 hours on Sunday as part of the ongoing investigation into the purchase of German submarines and other vessels, known as Case 3000.

Shimron and the other associate, whose name was not cleared for publication, were released late Sunday under restrictive terms.

Israeli law does not allow the reporting of the names of those under police investigation for 48 hours after the suspects are informed of the investigation, or until the suspect is brought before a judge.

After the two were released, associates of Netanyahu noted that, "The attorney general and the State Prosecutor's Office are again making it clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not a suspect of any sort in the submarine affair."

The submarines affair centers around two transactions between Israel and German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp for the purchase of three submarines and four missile boats to protect Israel's offshore natural gas rigs, at a cost of almost 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

In July, Michael Ganor, the middleman in the deal between Israel and ThyssenKrupp, signed a state's evidence agreement. The court issued a gag order on his testimony. Ganor was arrested in the first round of arrests, along with Shimron and Avriel Bar-Yosef, former deputy head of the National Security Council.

In September, Rami Tayeb, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz's media adviser, and David Sharan, Netanyahu's former bureau chief, were arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes. Sharan also served in the past as Steinitz' bureau chief.

Former minister and present Keren Hayesod-United Israel Appeal chairman Eliezer Sandberg, former Israel Navy commando chief Shai Brosh, media consultant Tzachi Lieber and public relations executive Natan Mor were arrested hours later.

The German government approved a memorandum of understanding for the sale of three submarines to Israel in October, though Germany reportedly reserved the right to stop the deal and even cancel it if the investigation that is currently under way in Israel at any point will reveal that senior officials who undertook the deal did so unlawfully.

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