Police to Question Former Israeli Army Chief Gantz in Submarine Scandal

As the investigation broadens, a key witness in the affair may incriminate Netanyahu's lawyer Shimron in another case if he turns state witness, report says

Former Israeli army shief Benny Gantz, in 2015.
Gadi Yampel / GPO

Former Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. (ret.) Benny Gantz will testify to police on Thursday in the so-called submarine affair.

The Israel Police are preparing to broaden their investigation of the submarine affair following information received from Miki Ganor, the local representative a German shipyard and the middleman in the sale of three submarines and other navy vessels to Israel. Ganor is in advanced talks with police to become a state witness in the case.

Israel's former navy chief Eliezer Marom, former deputy head of the National Security Council, Avriel Bar-Yosef and Netanyahu's personal lawyer, David Shimron were also questioned as suspects in the case.

Haaretz on Wednesday that police will be now summoning officers currently serving in the army after Ganor gave information about other arms deals Israel had signed in recent years. 

Report: Ganor could incriminate Netanyahu's lawyer in second case

Businessman Michael Ganor in court, Rishon Letzion, Israel, 17 July, 2017.
Ilan Assayag

If Ganor turns state witness, Ganor may incriminate Shimron in a second case, of Haifa's ammonia tank, Channel 10 reported Tuesday.

According to the report, Shimron is thought to have acted with Ganor in order to advance German firm Thyssenkrupp's interests regarding the ammonia tank.

Ganor is also a director on the board of Haifa Chemicals, the company that owns the controvesial ammonia tank that was ordered to be emptied in March. Ganor allegedly pushed for Thyssenkrupp to be allowed to set up an alternative ammonia tank in the Negev, it was reported.

On Wednesday, information passed by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit raised suspicion that the officials handling the ammonia tank's decommissioning had done so unlawfully. The comptroller is presently assessing the state authorities' handling of the issue, such as the sudden turnaround in the Environmental Protection Ministry's stance on the need for ammonia, as well as the conduct of both the National Security Council and the Justice Ministry.

The decisions regarding the alternatives for importing ammonia, following the Haifa tank's closure, are suspected of being biased in favor of Haifa Chemicals. At the same time Environmental Protection Ministry officials were kept in the dark about this.

Also, information given to the High Court of Justice about the case was not compatible with the facts, the comptroller's office found.