Netanyahu associates to be indicted in $2 billion graft case involving German subs

Netanyahu was questioned, but not named as a suspect, in the submarine probe, known as “file 3000.”

By AP and World Israel News Staff 

Israel’s state prosecutor said Thursday he intends to indict seven men, including close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a sweeping graft case related to a possible conflict of interest involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines.

State Attorney Shai Nitzan’s office said in a statement that the seven would be charged with various offenses, among them bribery, money laundering, and fraud, pending a hearing.

Netanyahu was questioned, but not named as a suspect, in the submarine probe, known as “file 3000.”

Among those to be charged was Netanyahu’s personal attorney, David Shimron, who is also his cousin. Shimron represented the German firm involved and was suspected of using his influence over the prime minister in return for a hefty cut of the deal.

Shimron dismissed the pending money laundering charge against him.

“There are no submarines. There’s no bribery. There’s no fraud. So what is there? A technical violation that has been described in a pompous manner with considerable error,” he said in response to the charge sheet.

Also set to be indicted is David Sharan, who once headed Netanyahu’s office. A former head of the navy, Eliezer Marom, has also been implicated.

After seeming to escape the submarine scandal, it was revealed that Netanyahu reportedly earned $4 million on a related German submarine sale to Egypt by owning shares in one of the German manufacturer’s suppliers. He has denied wrongdoing.

Netanyahu was recently charged in three unrelated corruption cases, accused of fraud and breach of trust and, in one case, involvement in bribery.

He has emphatically insisted that he is innocent in all three cases, saying the charges are trumped up by a biased justice system egged on by a liberal media.