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Top Netanyahu Aides Detained in Corruption Probe

Top Netanyahu Aides Detained in Corruption Probe

Monday, 6 November, 2017 - 10:45
The German-made INS Rahav, the fifth Israeli Navy submarine, arrives in Haifa. AFP file photo

Israeli police detained on Sunday two of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's top aides, his cousin and personal lawyer David Shimron and another senior lawyer who has worked with him for years, as part of a corruption probe on submarines, dubbed as "Case 3000".

Police sources revealed the arrest is an indication that the Prime Minister would be summoned for investigation, knowing that the Attorney General ruled out Netanyahu's involvement.

However, sources expected Netanyahu to be summoned for questioning upon his return from his diplomatic trip to Britain. They said this is the first time two people this close to Netanyahu had been arrested.

Shimron had been under house arrest for four weeks, and as the investigation continued, the attorney's partner in the law firm resigned suddenly from his position in Netanyahu's office.

Case 3000 is a police corruption investigation into Israel’s purchase of German-made naval vessels. Several politicians and military officials received bribery of tens of millions of dollars in exchange for pressuring the army to buy a submarine from German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp.

Once the investigation began, the German government froze the deal. Shortly after, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit issued a memorandum confirming that Netanyahu is not linked to corruption in this case.

The German government later approved the deal and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) including a clause which allows Germany to back out of the deal if criminality is found in the behavior of senior decision makers or officials involved in the purchase of the submarines.

Eight senior officials including Shimron, former Navy Chief Major General Eliezer Marom, and Israeli businessman and state’s "king witness" Miki Ganor, have been so far detained.

It is said to be one of the biggest corruption cases in Israel's history including bribery, tax evasion, and money laundry.

Shimron denied he was to receive a cut from the deal beyond his legal fees and denied any relation with the German company.

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