Indictments could torpedo future German submarines to Israel

Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Reuters

Financial newspaper "Handelsblatt": ThyssenKrupp is liable to lose Israel as a customer because of Case 3000.

If indictments are filed in the submarines case (Case 3000), it is doubtful whether the German government will be able to export three more submarines to Israel, according to a report on the affair by German newspaper "Handelsblatt." The newspaper assessed the situation from the business perspective of German concern ThyssenKrupp, which has been in dire straits in the past year. The German newspaper says that the affair "is liable to cost ThyssenKrupp a major customer (Israel)," and adds, "The federal government will find it difficult to give export permits for submarines if it is proven that there was corruption in the process."

The German government has a special cabinet for approving defense deals, as was previously done for the sale of six submarines and four warships to the Israeli navy. The German government also subsidizes a third of the submarines' cost, meaning that German tax money is involves in these deals.

"Handelsblatt again noted that ThyssenKrupp was asserting that its actions were irreproachable, and that the replacement of Shaike Bareket by Michael ("Miki") Ganor in 2009 "was at the customer's request." According to the Israeli police's recommendations published last week, it is suspected that the appointment was initiated by former National Security Council deputy head Avriel Bar-Yosef and former Israeli navy commander Eliezer ("Chayni") Marom. ThyssenKrupp told "Globes" that it did not respond to press reports on the matter, and "had received no reliable information from the Israel authorities to date."

The German government is also declining to respond to press reports and questions about the effect of the police recommendations on future submarine deals and construction of four warships, which was already begun last year. "We are aware of the investigations being conducted by the State Attorney's Office in Israel concerning the final decision about the contract (current procurement of warships and future procurement of submarines, A.O.)," the German government told "Globes." "The investigations are not over, and are an internal Israeli affair." The German government reserved the right to cancel the memorandum of understanding for the sale of three submarines if corruption pertaining to the decision to procure them comes to light.

Concerning Israeli-German relations, the police's recommendations confirm assessments in recent years that Germany made supply of the sixth submarine to Israel contingent on an Israeli gesture to the Palestinians. According to the investigation, this measure led Ganor, ThyssenKrupp's representative in Israel, meet with Adv. Yitzhak Mocho, the prime minister's emissary, to ask him to act in the matter. The "Der Spiegel" magazine previously reported that Berlin had made supply contingent on construction of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip and the unfreezing of the Palestinians' tax money.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 13, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Reuters
Benjamin Netanyahu photo: Reuters
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