Israeli State Witness In Submarine Graft Probe Moved To Safe House

Police have reportedly moved to a safe house the state’s witness in an investigation into suspected corruption in a multi-billion-shekel deal to purchase naval vessels from Germany, due to concerns for his safety.

Miki Ganor, the local agent for a German shipbuilder, is under extended house arrest as investigators continue to question him in the affair, which has been dubbed “Case 3000.”

The Israel Police refused to comment on the report, aired by Channel 2 news Monday, saying only that it does not discuss such matters.

Ganor, a former agent for the German submarine company Thyssenkrupp, is suspected of giving bribes in connection with a decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to buy three submarines from the German company in a deal reached despite opposition from the Defense Ministry.

According to the report, Ganor is escorted every day by police to his ongoing interrogation, which has continued for over a month since he signed a deal to become a state witness.

Officers are expected to complete the first stage of his questioning within a week to 10 days, the report said, after which other suspects will be confronted with his testimony.

Upon the completion of Ganor’s testimony, police are expected to summon for questioning a number of other suspects in the case, as well as a number of individuals who have not yet been publicly linked to the investigation.

Ganor has claimed his lawyer David Shimron — who is also Netanyahu’s cousin and personal attorney — was to receive 20 percent of his own commission of $45 million, Channel 2 and Channel 10 reported last month.

Shimron was hired by Ganor to negotiate the ship and submarine purchases.

That reported allegation would contradict a statement given on behalf of Shimron by his lawyers Yaakov Weinroth and Amit Hadad saying that Shimron was not going to receive a cut from the deal beyond his legal fees.

Channel 10 reported that in exchange for his share of the commission, Shimron was allegedly tasked with ensuring that certain undisclosed clauses were inserted into the memorandum of understanding between Israel and Germany for the purchase of the vessels.

In response to the reports, Shimron’s lawyers said, “These claims are so far removed from the truth that it is inconceivable that the state witness presented them to the police.

“At any rate, for the duration of the time Shimron represented Miki Ganor, he acted in the role of an attorney and all of his actions were in accordance with the law,” the said.

Ganor and Shimron are among six suspects brought in for questioning in July as part of the investigation. They are suspected of attempting to sway deals in favor of ThyssenKrupp.

Two other suspects are former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef and former commander of the Israeli Navy Maj. Gen. (res) Eliezer Marom.

The suspects were questioned under caution on suspicion of fraud, bribery, tax evasion and money laundering, the Israel Police and the Tax Authority said in a joint statement.

Netanyahu is not a suspect in the case. However, police are planning to summon him to testify on what he knows about the affair.

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