In a dramatic development in what has become known as the submarines affair, one of the main suspects, Michael (Miki) Ganor, who was the Israel representative of German company ThyssenKrupp, is in talks with the State Attorney's Office on an agreement to become a state's witness.
The affair concerns the procurement of three submarines and four maritime installation protection vessels for the Israel Navy. The contract went to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel, in preference to South Korean shipyards. Israel Police is investigating allegations of corruption in the award of the contract. Ganor was one of several people arrested in the affair, who included former Israel Navy commander Eliezer Marom and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal attorney, and cousin, David Shimron, who was Ganor's legal representative.
Ganor's attorney Adv. Nati Simchony opposed a state's witness agreement for his client, and has resigned from representing him. He will be replaced by Adv. Eli Zohar, who represented former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Ganor's remand was extended today by four days, with his consent.
If Ganor does sign a plea bargain with the State Attorney's Office, he could divulge information concerning the other suspects in the affair, among them Avriel Bar-Yosef, who was deputy head of the National Security Council; Shimron; and Marom. His testimony could also bring other people involved in the procurement of naval vessels from Germany into the picture as suspects, and possibly even the prime minister.
Netanyahu supported the purchase of the vessels from Germany, while then defense minister Moshe Ya'alon opposed it. Bar-Yosef played a central role in drafting the opinion on the procurement of the submarines, but he claims that he never acted unlawfully. He is suspected of accepting bribes, conspiring to commit a criminal offense, fraud, breach of trust, and money laundering.
Ganor is suspected of fraud, money laundering, and conspiring to commit an offense.
Meanwhile, Shimron has left on a private trip to the US. The State Attorney's Office and the police surprisingly did not object to Shimron's departure from Israel. This is believed to be for one of two reasons: either the police have already come to the conclusion that the case against Shimron is weak and there is no serious evidence against him, or this leniency is an investigation tactic.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 17, 2017
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