Israel Police recommends indictments in submarines affair

David Shimron Photo: Jonathan Bloom

The police have recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cousin and close associate Adv. David Shimron, as well as Netanyahu's former bureau chief and former senior IDF officers.

Israel Police recommends the indictment of a list of prominent suspects in the German submarines affair (Case 3000). The police are calling the case a watershed in defense procurement and the National Security Council.

This afternoon, Israel Police announced that it had concluded its investigation and had delivered its findings to the State Prosecutor for consideration of indictments for bribery against senior business figures, public servants, and officeholders involved in the procurement of submarines and surface vessels for the Israel Navy. The police believe that the evidence found justifies indictments against former senior IDF officers Brigadier General (res.) Avriel Bar-Yosef, former Shayetet 13 commando unit commander Shai ("Shaike") Brosh, Vice Admiral (res.) Eliezer Marom, and also against Keren HaYesod - United Israel Appeal (UIA) chairman and former government minister Eliezer (Modi) Sandberg, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cousin and close associate Adv. David Shimron, and Netanyahu's former bureau chief David Sharan.

The only suspicion investigated by the police for which an indictment was not recommended concerned Adv. Yitzhak Molcho, Netanyahu's political adviser. The police stated, "Not enough evidence was found indicating the commission of a crime."

German company ThyssenKrupp, a key focus of the investigation, said in response, "As of now, the information at our disposal comes only from the media; we have received no other official information. As soon as we know all of the facts, we will consider additional measures in the framework of the legal options available to us." ThyssenKrupp previously announced that its internal investigation had found no failures on the company's part, and put the blame for any bribery on Miki Ganor, its representative in Israel.

The investigation of the submarines affair included the proceedings preceding and surrounding the procurement of three submarines and four surface ships from ThyssenKrupp. It is suspected that the decisions on procuring the vessels taken by defense establishment leaders were motivated by improper considerations, including a conflict of interest and bribes given to parties who accompanied the deals. Because of the substance of the deal and the suspects' high profile and close association with Netanyahu, Netanyahu gave evidence a number of times, but he is not suspected of involvement in the case.

In its announcement of the investigation's conclusion, the police tell the story of the affair from the beginning until the present.

The police state, "Case 3000 mainly concerns suspicions of a web of bribery, fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, and other offenses committed in the framework of relationships that included public servants, businesspeople, and senior officeholders, who acted either directly or through businesspersons and private individuals serving as intermediaries in 2009-2017. Their aim was to promote business interests affecting the procurement of submarines and vessels for Israel from German corporation ThyssenKrupp, in addition to promoting other business interests."

Responses

Adv. David Shimron said in response, "I committed no crime. I am confident that the case will prove to be groundless and no indictment will be filed against me."

Adv. Eitan Maoz, representing Sharan, declined to respond to the report.

Adv. Eyal Rosovsky and Adv. Zion Amir, representing Marom, said, "Marom has claimed all along that he is innocent, and continues to claim it. The recommendation by the police has no formal significance. These are conclusions by the police. We will wait and see what the State Attorney's Office decides."

Bar-Yosef's lawyer, Adv. Jacques Chen, said, "The police's announcement is tainted with the tendentiousness characteristic of the entire investigation. We have no doubt that an objective and serious examination of the facts by the State Attorney's Office will show that no fault can be found with the conduct of Brigadier General (res.) Avriel Bar-Yosef."

Adv. Iris Niv Sabag, representing Brosh, said in response, "Shai Brosh is an admirable person who has greatly contributed to Israel's security, but during the relevant period, he was a private citizen. Under these circumstances, the attempt to attribute a crime to him is outlandish. I believe that this will be demonstrated after an examination of the matter by the State Attorney's Office."

Ad. Yaron Kosteliz, Sandberg's lawyer, said that he was convinced that the State Attorney's Office would conclude that there was no reason to file an indictment against Sandberg, because no fault could be found with his conduct.

Adv. Yitzhak Molcho said, "I was absolutely certain that the investigation would end with no action taken. As I have said several times before, I was uninvolved in the matter being investigated."

It is stressed that all those involved are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 8, 2018

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

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David Shimron Photo: Jonathan Bloom
David Shimron Photo: Jonathan Bloom
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