The two Israelis killed in a plane crash near Greece on Monday evening were identified as Haim Garon and his wife Esti.
Garon was former deputy director of the Communications Ministry and a prosecution witness in former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial.
Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases. One of them - Case 4000 - alleges that the former primeir promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the owner of the Bezeq telecom company, Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for positive coverage on its popular Walla news site.
Garon's testimony was set to center on regulatory issues regarding this case.
"He was so happy to fly," said a relative. "He bought that plane together with a partner and would fly abroad frequently. He was a responsible pilot, we cannot comprehend what happened there."
The Garons were reportedly on their way to North Macedonia.
The private aircraft crashed near the eastern Aegean island of Samos, where they were supposed to make a pit stop.
The cause for the crash of the plane, a Cessna 182 that operates from a small airfield in Haifa, is still unknown, but most likely stemmed from technical difficulties before landing.
The four-passenger aircraft is considered very safe and reliable and is mainly used for training flights and leisure flights among other civilian uses.
The plane disappeared from radars around 8pm (Israel time).
According to local media reports, three ships rushed to the crash scene, including a Coast Guard vessel and a fishing boat. A Greek Air Force Super Puma helicopter was also dispatched to the crash site.
"We spotted debris of the aircraft in the sea about a mile south from the airport," a coast guard official told Reuters.