Israel Police arrested six suspects Sunday morning in connection with an investigation into allegations that sources close to Binyamin Netanyahu unduly used their connections to the prime minister to advance a deal for the defense ministry to purchase submarines from Germany’s ThyssenKrupp shipbuilding conglomerate over the objections of the IDF.
The suspects arrested Sunday reportedly include a former official in the Prime Minister’s Bureau and retired Israel Navy officers.
Police said that officers from the Lahav 433 serious crime unit searched the suspects’ houses looking for documents related to the investigation following information provided by Miki Ganor, ThyssenKrupp’s Israel representative who agreed in July to testify on behalf of the state in the affair which has been labeled Case 3000.
Ganor told police that he bribed former Navy Commander Vice Admiral (Res.) Eli (Chiney) Marom and former Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Bar-Yosef. Ganor has also testified in several additional national security scandals related to the submarine purchases.
In July, Maj.Gen (res.) Amos Gilead, a former director of political-military affairs at the Defense Ministry, was questioned by police in conjunction with the affair. While police said at the time that Gilead was not suspected of any criminal activity they also hinted that his status could change. “We have not found any evidence of corruption, but our investigation is only preliminary,” a spokesman said.
Signing of the $1.5 billion deal for the Defense Ministry to purchase three Dolphin-class submarines for the Israel Navy, along with patrol corvettes to defend offshore gas rigs, was reportedly suspended by the German government in mid-July in the wake of the corruption charges.