The German submarine police examination, also known as “Case 3000,” was reported on Wednesday to be reclassified by the police as a criminal investigation.
This according to television news channels. Journalist Amnon Abramovich reported that of former Navy head Gen. Ram Rothberg was questioned in the case.
Once the case becomes a full-fledged criminal investigation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer, David Shimron, businessman Miki Ganor (another client of Shimron’s) and former commander of the Israeli Navy Vice Admiral Eliezer “Chiney” Marom (who headed the Navy between 2007 – 2011) are all also due to be questioned by the police.
Netanyahu himself, it should be noted, is not at present suspected of wrongdoing in the matter and is not expected to be questioned on the matter.
This comes in direct opposition to reports that former Defense minister Moshe Ya’alon had told police of Netanyahu’s direct involvement in the purchasing of the submarines and the tender bias in favor of German conglomerate.
Ya’alon reportedly provided investigators with detailed information on the talks Netanyahu had with German government officials both for the purchase of three new submarines and for the purchase of anti-submarine warships for the Israeli Navy—without consulting the defense establishment.
Israel’s submarine deal with Germany includes two main parts: The acquisition of three submarines and the signing of a contract for long-term maintenance work with the German shipyard that is represented by Israeli businessman Miki Ganor. It is the latter contract that would be more profitable to Ganor, according to defense officials.
The IDF, for its part, had also issued a response to allegations that Netanyahu insiders enjoyed personal gais from the IDF deal to acquire new submarines, by stating that the purpose of the new subs as replacements for older vessels, and as an upgrade to the Israeli arsenal.