State Prosecutors announce charges of bribery, money-laundering in major submarine corruption scandal

December 6, 2019 by Arye Green -TPS
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State Attorney Shai Nitzan has announced charges against former senior security officials, as well as former aides of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a major corruption case involving the purchasing of German naval vessels.

The 5th submarine of Israeli Navy – Rahav – arrived at the sea base in Haifa. Haifa, Jan 13, 2016. Photo by Yissachar Ruas/TPS

The charges are subject to pre-indictment hearings.

The scandal, which has come to be known as “Case 3000,” involves alleged bribery of top Israeli security officials who pushed a multi-billion-shekel acquisition of military vessels and submarines from the German ship manufacturer ‎Thyssenkrupp in 2016.

A statement from the Justice Ministry said that Vice Admiral Eliezer Marom, former commander of Israel’s Navy, will be charged with bribery, money laundering, and tax offences, as will Miki Ganor, Thyssenkrupp’s former representative in Israel.

Additionally, former minister Eliezer Sandberg, and David Sharan, a former aide to Netanyahu and to Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, will be indicted for bribery, breach of trust, and money laundering.

David Shimron, Netanyahu’s cousin and former lawyer, will be charged with money laundering, as well.

Rami Taib, a former political adviser to Steinitz, will be charged with assisting bribery, and Yitzhak Lieber, a media consultant and close associate of Sharan, will be charged with money laundering and assisting tax offences.

According to the charges, Avriel Bar-Yosef, former deputy national security advisor, approached Ganor in 2009 and suggested Ganor would become Thyssenkrupp’s representative in Israel, hoping to benefit from the appointment financially.

Bar-Yosef then allegedly asked Marom, who headed the Israeli Navy at the time, to push for Ganor’s appointment. Allegedly, according to an understanding that was reached, Ganor would compensate Marom and Bar-Yosef for their work towards his appointment. Ganor was eventually appointed as Thyssenkrupp’s representative in Israel.

According to the prosecutors, Ganor paid Marom and Bar-Yosef hundreds of thousands of shekels, and Bar-Yosef worked to advance naval purchases while serving as Deputy National Security Advisor.

The statement did not explicitly say Bar-Yosef will be charged in a crime, despite describing his alleged corrupt dealings in the description of the case.

The statement also described unethical relations between Ganor, Sharan and Sandberg. Ganor is accused of bribing Sharan and Sandberg in exchange for promoting his interests. Shimron is suspected of laundering money for Ganor.

Ganor had initially signed on to become a state witness in the case but later backed out of the agreement, leaving him open to severe charges from state prosecutors.

Despite the expected indictment of several close associates of Netanyahu, the prime minister is not suspected of any wrongdoing in the case.

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