Report: Netanyahu Will Be Summoned to Testify in Submarine Affair, May Be Questioned Under Caution

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Knesset meeting, Jerusalem, January 21, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Knesset meeting, Jerusalem, January 21, 2018.Credit: Alex Kolomoisky

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be summoned to testify in the submarine affair and may be questioned under caution, according to a report Israel Television News Company, formerly Channel Two News, on Friday evening. Being questioned under caution would mean Netanyahu himself had become a suspect in the case.

It was also reported that the investigation team intends to request that Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz be summoned to testify at a later date.

>> Explainer: All the scandals involving Netanyahu, and where they stand >>

Last week, it was reported that police are expected to recommend to the State Prosecutor's Office to indict five suspects, Netanyahu’s close associates, lawyers David Shimron and Isaac Molho, 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.

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