Tags: netanyahu | submarine | scandal

Netanyahu's Submarine Scandal Could Torpedo Him

Image: Netanyahu's Submarine Scandal Could Torpedo Him

Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at arrival of new Israeli Navy submarine. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Thursday, 09 Feb 2017 10:49 AM

A criminal investigation into purchases of submarines from German shipbuilding company ThyssenKrupp could trip up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu supported the contracts involving the purchase of three new submarines for the Israeli Navy, according to The New York Times, and questions have risen about his role in the purchase.

An investigation has heard testimony by Israel’s former Navy commander, Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg, said the Times of Israel.

According to his testimony, Netanyahu announced the purchase of the submarines in a cabinet meeting back in October of 2016.

When the deal became public, suspicion arose about a Netanyahu conflict of interest because his lawyer at the time, David Shimron, had business ties with the shipbuilding company.

Netanyahu consistently denied any wrongdoing involving the submarine deal. He said the only motivation for the deal was Israel’s security needs.

However, Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s former defense minister who got booted by Netanyahu last year, has now also testified in the matter, said Haaretz.com.

Yaalon testified that the prime minister had contacted German officials about the submarine deal without taking it up with the Defense Ministry first.

Adding gravity to the case, according to The New York Times, Israel’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition calling for the shipping affair to be the subject of a full criminal investigation.

Netanyahu is arguing for a dismissal of the petition, saying it’s nothing more than a “publicity” stunt by politicians with alternative motives.

Other aspersions have been piling up around Netanyahu, who has now been the leader of the conservative Likud Party for three consecutive terms, and he has consistently denied any involvement.

A court hearing involving the submarine contracts is set for March 8.

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A criminal investigation into purchases of submarines and missile ships from German shipbuilding company ThyssenKrupp could trip up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
netanyahu, submarine, scandal
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2017-49-09
Thursday, 09 Feb 2017 10:49 AM
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