State's witness retracts submarine testimony due to blocked funds

Michael (Miki) Ganor photo: Ilan Assayag

Former Thyssenkrupp agent Michael Ganor has cancelled his plea bargain agreement apparently because he has been unable to access money in overseas accounts, sources inform "Globes."

Tens of millions of shekels held overseas by Michael Ganor, the state's witness in the submarine procurement graft case (Case 3000), and which he has not been able to bring to Israel despite his plea bargain agreement with the State Attorney, is apparently one of the main reasons why he has retracted his testimony, sources inform "Globes."

"Globes" has received information that the State Attorney gave Ganor a letter that was supposed to help him bring the money into the country. However, the banks refused to let him transfer the money into Israel for use in his accounts due to the allegations against him. The banks were unhappy that according to the media, Ganor had been allegedly involved in bribery in the submarine procurement from German company Thyssenkrupp. Ganor found himself in difficulty because he is also unable to use the money abroad.

Ganor has apparently concluded that if he retracts his confession that he was involved in bribery in the submarine affair, he will then be able to use the money. The problem is that Ganor sat with the police for more than a month and gave detailed confessions, which shocked even his investigators. It will therefore be very difficult for him to now persuade the police that the information he gave them, which incriminates Ganor himself, was forced out of him by the investigators, or is not true.

It is also possible that Ganor's decision was influenced by recent revelations regarding the apparent interests of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the submarine and naval craft procurements.

Ganor has been arrested and questioned by police following his dramatic retraction and will appear in the Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court later this morning for a request to extend his remand.

Case 3000 relates to the procurement of three Dolphin submarines and four Saar 6 naval vessels from German company Thyssenkrupp between 2009 and 2017. Ganor acted as an agent for Thyssenkrupp in Israel and allegedly paid huge bribes to a range of senior defense officials, many of them close to Netanyahu, to award the contracts to the German shipbuilder, in what is considered one of the worst bribery scandals in Israel's history.

All suspects in Case 3000 are only suspected of the offenses reltated to them and are innocent until proven guilty.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 20, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Michael (Miki) Ganor photo: Ilan Assayag
Michael (Miki) Ganor photo: Ilan Assayag
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