German prosecutor opens proceeding into submarines deal - report

The proceeding was opened following a legal assistance request by Israel to German authorities, the report said.

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March 27, 2019 06:12
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out after a visit inside the Rahav, the fifth submarine in

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu climbs out after a visit inside the Rahav, the fifth submarine in the fleet, after it arrived in Haifa's port. (photo credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

 
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The German prosecutor’s office in Bochum has opened a preliminary proceeding into ThyssenKrupp’s sale of submarines to Israel, according to a Monday report by the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

The proceeding was opened following a legal assistance request by Israel to German authorities, the report said.

Last week, former ThyssenKrupp Israel head Miki Ganor, who become a state’s witness in Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s investigation into Case 3000, the “Submarines Affair” in 2017, asked to change the testimony he provided. He was arrested and remains in custody while the prosecution decides whether to nix his immunity deal.

Until a few weeks ago, the “Submarines Affair” was about top defense officials and top officials close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu skimming off the top of a deal for Israel to buy nuclear submarines from Germany. However, after actively keeping the prime minister clear from being viewed as a suspect for more than two years, Mandelblit opened an initial review 10 days ago into the his conduct regarding the case as well.


Netanyahu admitted that he kept the Defense Ministry and the IDF in the dark about aspects of purchasing the submarines and about removing opposition to Germany’s sale of submarines to Egypt.

Though the police issued its recommendations last November – which left Netanyahu clear of suspicion – in February, the State Comptroller indirectly revealed a new potential piece, which the police had not investigated.

It is not immediately clear what Israel requested or hoped to gain from the German proceeding.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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