Two Figures Close to Israel's Energy Minister Questioned in Submarine Affair

A businessman close to Yuval Steinitz and a former senior adviser to the minister were the latest to be questioned

Yaniv Kubovich
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A German-built Israel Navy submarine
Israeli sailors stand on a German-built submarine on its arrival at the military port in Haifa, January 12, 2016.Credit: Ariel Schalit/AP
Yaniv Kubovich

A businessman who is a close associate of Yuval Steinitz and a former senior adviser to the energy minister  were questioned on Sunday in Case 3000, the police investigation of alleged corruption in Israel's purchase of submarines and naval patrol boats from the German firm ThyssenKrupp.

The businessman is active in the Likud party.

Last week a number of people were arrested in the case: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's former bureau chief David Sharan; Shai Brosh, the former head of the Israel Navy's Shayetet 13 commando unit; Steinitz's political adviser Rami Taib; former science and technology minister Eliezer Sandberg; media consultant Tzachi LIeber; and public relations executive Natan Mor. Sharan, Lieber and Mor remain in detention while the others have been released on house arrest.

On Thursday, Lieber claimed to have transferred funds from ThyssenKrup's Israeli representative, Michael Ganor, to Sharan while Sharan was still Netanyahu's bureau chief.  In July, Ganor signed an agreement with the prosecution to turn state's evidence. A gag order has been issued barring disclosure of his testimony.

Case 3000 involves suspected corruption in Israel's purchase for the Israel Navy, for close to 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), of three submarines as well as four patrol boats,  to be used to protect Israel's offshore natural gas platforms in the Mediterranean.

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