Netanyahu Lawyer Stood to Earn Millions From Submarine Deal, State's Witness Says

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Michael Ganor (left) and David Shimron.
Michael Ganor (left) and David Shimron.Credit: Moti Milrod and Tomer Appelbaum

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer was due to earn tens of millions of shekels from an agreement, since suspended, to buy three submarines from Germany. That, according to statements reportedly made to the Israel Police by a state’s witness in the case.

Michael Ganor’s testimony about David Shimron was reported by Israel’s Channel 2 and Channel 10 television on Sunday.

According to the reports, Ganor told police that Shimron’s commission from the deal between the state and ThyssenKrupp was to be 20 percent of Ganor’s own fee from the German conglomerate for brokering it. A 20 percent cut would have amounted to tens of millions of shekels, Ganor said.

When the submarine deal was signed, Ganor was ThyssenKrupp’s Israeli representative. Shimron was a lawyer to Ganor, as well as to Netanyahu. Both Shimron and Ganor are suspects in the case, known as Case 3000, but Ganor turned state’s evidence.

Shimron denied the reports. “These claims are so far from reality that it’s inconceivable for a state witness to have made them to the police,” he told Channel 10. “In any case, throughout the time when Shimron was representing Ganor, he acted as an attorney, and all his actions were legal.”

Under Ganor’s state’s evidence agreement, he will be sentenced to one year in prison and fined 10 million shekels ($2.8 million). As the person who actually brokered deals between the government and ThyssenKrupp, he is expected to be able shed light on corruption in the defense establishment in several major purchases over the past few years.

According to a source in the defense establishment, Ganor has been involved in naval acquisitions since 2012, when Israel bought its sixth submarine from Germany.

Former Israel Navy commander Eli Marom, one of several former senior defense officials who are now suspects in Case 3000, was reportedly involved in persuading ThyssenKrupp to replace its previous Israeli representative, Yeshayahu Barkat, with Ganor.

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