AG probing possible link between Netanyahu, German sub-maker: report
ROLF VENNENBERND (DPA/AFP/File)
A possible link between Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a German defense contractor, which is at the center of a corruption case in Israel, is being investigated by the State Attorney’s office, according to a report by Channel 13 on Wednesday.
Police is currently investigating whether bribes were solicited during negotiations between ThyssenKrupp, the German defense contractor, and the Israeli government over the purchase of new submarines for Israel's navy.
The report from Channel 13 on Wednesday suggested that the state Comptroller’s Office had discovered that Netanyahu and his cousin, Nathan Milikowsky, had shares in GrafTech International, a steel manufacturing company that has supplied Thyssenkrupp for a long time.
Netanyahu allegedly did not disclose his shares in GrafTech International which he bought before his second term as prime minister. The number of shares Netanyahu held before he sold them to Milikowsky was withheld by the comptroller.
“It’s all fake news. In 2010, after being elected prime minister, he sold his shares in his cousin’s company with full approval of authorities, and for the last 10 years the prime minister has no connection to the company, and does not know its connection to Thyssenkrupp,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement following the report.
There have been several reports that Netanyahu will be questioned in this case, but as of yet, police have not named him as a suspect. However several intimate associates of Netanyahu’s, including former personal lawyer David Shimron, have been arrested. Yitzhak Molcho, a personal envoy for the premier, was also questioned.
The two men, who also represented the German firm’s interests in Israel, are suspected of using their positions and association with the premier to advance the deal despite push back from the Ministry of Defense.
Attorney General Avichai announced last month his intention to indict Netanyahu on bribery and corruption charges pending a court hearing.
Netanyahu was slapped with the most laden charges -- bribery, fraud and breach of trust -- in "Case 4,000", in which police suspect that Netanyahu granted regulatory benefits to telecommunications giant Bezeq in exchange for positive news coverage by the Walla news website, which is owned by Bezeq’s controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch.
He was slapped with fraud and breach of trust charges in the other two cases, known as Case 1,000 and Case 2,000.
In Case 1,000, Netanyahu is suspected of accepting illicit gifts from a number of wealthy benefactors in exchange for political favors and preferential treatment.
"Case 2,000" centers on a quid-pro-quo arrangement with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes to limit circulation of the newspaper's main rival in exchange for more favorable coverage.
The pre-indictment hearings will be held no later than four months after the investigation documents are released, or some time before July 10, according to the Justice Ministry.
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More lies this was ten years ago.