Israeli Police Expected to Recommend Charges for Two Netanyahu Confidants in Submarine Graft Affair, Report Says

The police are believed to have 'evidentiary basis' to indict five people, among them the prime minister's close associates David Shimron and Isaac Molho

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and Navy Commander Major general Ram Rothberg standing on top of the new submarine in March, 2017.
Kobi Gideon / Government Press Office

Police are expected to conclude the investigation into the so-called submarine affair with a recommendation to indict five suspects, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close associates, lawyers David Shimron and Isaac Molho, the Israel Television News Company reported on Wednesday.

Police are also expected to say that there is evidentiary basis to indict Netanyahu’s former bureau chief David Sharan, former Israel Navy commander Eliezer Marom and former deputy head of National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef for offenses that include bribery and serving as intermediaries in bribery.

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

The investigation focuses on suspected corruption in a multimillion dollar submarine deal with German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp. Shimron, who is also Netanayhu’s personal lawyer, represented the German ship builder in Israel. Molho, who is Shimron’s law firm partner and Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, allegedly acted to advance Israel’s purchase of the vessels while on official diplomatic missions for the prime minister. He served as special envoy twice, first from 1996 to 1999 and then again beginning in 2009.

The Shimron, Molho, Persky law firm also provided legal services to the prime minister’s Likud party and to Netanyahu’s wife Sara.

The case was based around the 2 billion euro ($2.3 billion) deal to purchase three submarines and four patrol boats to protect Israel’s offshore natural gas platforms. It has since been postponed.

Bar-Yosef, who was involved in another bribery case, was one of the people tasked with putting together an opinion about the submarine deal. Vice Admiral (ret.) Marom was allegedly behind the foreign bank accounts into which the funds were transferred.

Michael Ganor, who served as ThyssenKrupp's local representative, signed a state’s evidence agreement and gave police a detailed testimony, which has been banned from being published.

Isaac Molho and David Shimron.
Daniel Bar-On and Tess Scheflan