Former IDF general, Netanyahu confidant questioned in corruption scandal

Seven people have been detained as part of an investigation into what has become known as the submarine corruption deal.

Israel’s Police detained a former IDF general for questioning Tuesday as part of an investigation into Israel’s multi-million dollar acquisition of three additional submarines from German manufacturer ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

In the probe, dubbed Case 3,000, investigators suspect that crimes include bribery, money laundering and tax evasion.

The general, former Navy Commander Maj. Gen. (res) Eliezer Marom, was interrogated as a suspect by the Lahav 433 serious crime unit and then released to home arrest. His bank account was frozen as well.

Tuesday’s detention followed the arrests of six other suspects for questioning Monday. The suspects included Avriel Bar-Yosef, the former deputy head of Israel’s National Security Council (NSC), and Miki Ganor, the Israeli representative of TKMS.

Another suspect is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal attorney and close confidant, David Shimron.

“At the time of the events, some of the suspects involved were civil servants, while others worked in the private sector,” the Israel Police’s Investigations and Intelligence Division said in a statement Monday.

The controversial $1.5 billion submarine order was designed to replace Israel’s three oldest submarines with state-of-the-art vessels, enabling the Jewish state to maintain a modern fleet of six submarines. However, it is now suspected that that the order was made mainly as a result of pressure by parties of interest.

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A media firestorm broke out in January following the exposure of the fact that Shimron, Netanyahu’s personal attorney and cousin, represents TKMS in Israel, despite denials by the prime minister and Shimron of any improper decision-making or undue influence during the acquisition.

Police suspect Shimron was hired by the Germans because of his ties to Netanyahu, which would help push the deal through.

Netanyahu Not a Suspect

Netanyahu is currently not a suspect, but is still contending with other corruption investigations known as Cases 1000 and 2000.

Moshe Ya’alon, Netanyahu’s former defense minister and now a political rival, said he believes Netanyahu will be indicted on corruption charges.

“Too many issues are under investigation,” Moshe Ya’alon told CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour in an interview on Tuesday. “I believe that at the end we will witness indictment.”

Ya’alon opposed the decision to buy the German naval vessels in 2015.

In response to Ya’alon’s comments, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office said his allegations “are baseless.” The official accused Ya’alon of “turning a political differences into a smear campaign” against Netanyahu.

By: World Israel News Staff and Agencies