Police recommend indictment of 6 officials in Case 3000
The Israel Police says it gathered sufficient evidence in investigation into Israel's acquisition of submarines and patrol boats from Germany to indict former senior politicians and IDF officers as well as close associates of Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The six suspects include former senior IDF officers and close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: attorney David Shimron, the prime minister's personal lawyer and his relative; former deputy National Security Advisor Brig. Gen. (res.) Avriel Bar Yosef; former Navy commander Maj. Gen. (res.) Eliezer Marom; former minister and current chairman of the Keren Hayesod, Eliezer Sandberg; former PMO bureau chief David Sharan; and Brig. Gen. (res.) Shai Brosh.
Police did not recommend to indict attorney Yitzhak Molcho, another close associate of Netanyahu who was questioned in connection with the case.
In Case 3000, the police investigated the purchase of three submarines and four patrol boats for the Israeli Navy from German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp.
Investigators questioned a series of public servants, businesspeople and senior politicians and army officers on suspicions of bribe, fraud and breach of trust and money laundering, among other offenses committed between the years 2009-2017.
According to the police investigation, in 2009 ThyssenKrupp's representative in Israel, Brig. Gen. (res.) Yeshayahu Bareket, was unexpectedly replaced by businessman Miki Ganor, who was the driving force behind the alleged offenses.
The police suspect several senior officials were involved in Bareket's replacement, expecting to be repaid for their assistance by Ganor down the line.
In July 2017, Ganor signed a state's witness agreement, under which he will be charged and convicted of tax offenses, serve 12 months and pay a NIS 10 million fine. The state dropped all other charges against him, making him the main witness in the case, who implicated all of the other suspects.
Ganor told police he sought out ties with different senior officials in the hopes they would agree to take bribes from him in return for helping advance ThyssenKrupp's interests in Israel.
He recruited the assistance of the other suspects in one of three ways: by contacting the public official with a promise to promote his private projects after the official retired from public service (as he did with Marom); by transferring money to a decision-maker through a middleman (as he did with David Sharan and Avriel Bar Yosef); or by "employing" his accomplices as "consultants" under fictitious contracts (as he did with Eliezer Sandberg and David Shimron).
Police received three documents in July 2017 that indicated the Germans were well aware of Ganor's methods. The documents include a clause titled "Useful expenses" for Israeli officials and officers—in other words, bribes.
Police also recommended to indict other, less senior officials suspected in the case: strategic advisors Tzachi Lieber and Nati Mor; Rami Tayeb, a political advisor for Minister Yuval Steinitz; attorney Dov Hirsch; and former deputy national security advisor Atalya Rosenbaum.
Following the police announcement, attorney David Shimron said he wasn't "happy, but I'm also not concerned. At the end of the day, it's not the police, but the prosecution that decides (whether to indict). Since I didn't commit any offense, I believe this case will eventually be closed."
Lawyers representing Avriel Bar Yosef and Eliezer Sandberg both said they were confident the prosecution will decide not to indict their clients.
In light of the police's recommendations to indict close associates of Netanyahu, opposition head Tzipi Livni, Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid have all called for the prime minister's resignation.
Moshe Ya'alon, who was the defense minister at the time and has given his testimony in the case, called on the police to question Netanyahu.
Netanyahu's Likud Party said that "the attempts of the left wing to pin the submarine affair on Prime Minister Netanyahu have shattered in the face of reality. We are sorry for Lapid and Gabbay, whose desperate hope to replace Netanyahu using false allegations has once again been dashed."
Eli Senyor, Yuval Karni, Eitan Glickman and Tova Tzimuki contributed to this story.