Police Recommend Charging Netanyahu's Pick for National Security Adviser With Bribery

Former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef allegedly served the interests of a German businessman who invested hundreds of thousands of euros in a company owned by his relative

Avriel Bar Yosef in court.
Moti Kimche

The Israel Police announced on Thursday it found sufficient evidence to charge Avriel Bar-Yosef, a former deputy head of National Security Council, with bribery. Bar-Yosef remains a suspect in the so-called submarine affair.

The announcement was made after the completion of an investigation into suspicions of bribery, fraud and breach of trust while Bar-Yosef was serving on the National Security Council.

Bar-Yosef was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pick for national security adviser.

Bar-Yosef was suspected of receiving bribes from German businessman Michael Herzog, who invested hundreds of thousands of euros in a company owned by a relative of Bar-Yosef.

In return, the suspect furthered the business interests of the German businessman – for instance within Israel's Tzemach Committee dealing with Israel's natural gas interests.  

The investigation file will be transferred in the coming days to the State Prosecutor's Office for review and decision.

Bar-Yosef's attorney said: "The police's job is to investigate. The job of the State Prosecutor's Office is to consider whether an evidentiary basis has been established for prosecution. We are certain that once the State Prosecutor's Office has learned the file, it will find that there is no basis for prosecuting Brig. Gen. (ret.) Bar-Yosef."

Bar-Yosef is also a key suspect in the "submarine affair," and one of the at least ten high-powered individuals who have been identified as involved in the scandal including very close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A multimillion dollar submarine deal with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp is the focus of a police investigation, which is probing possible wrongdoing involving Netanyahu's personal lawyer and German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp's local representative.

The case, called Case 3000 by police, was based around the 2 billion Euro deal to purchase three submarines and four patrol boats intended to protect Israel's offshore natural gas platforms. 

In July, Miki Ganor turned state's evidence; Ganor is a businessman who served as ThyssenKrupp's local representative. Ganor was arrested in the first round of arrests, along with Netanyahu's personal attorney David Shimron and Bar-Yosef.