Israel’s fourth submarine is en route to the navy's Haifa base from Germany.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
Israel and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday paving the way for the sale of three submarines to Israel that are at the heart of a bribery, fraud and kickback investigation – dubbed Case 3000 – that has been feeding headlines for months.
German government spokesman Steffen Seibert announced at his daily press briefing that the MoU would be signed. The German government is subsidizing some 27% of the cost of the deal. The submarines are scheduled to arrive in a decade.
The police investigation into alleged wrongdoing is ongoing, and includes a number of former top defense officials and close confidants to Netanyahu, as well as the Israeli representative of the German shipbuilding giant Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.
The MoU includes an escape clause allowing Germany to back out of the deal if criminality is found in the behavior of senior decision makers or officials involved in the decision to purchase the submarines.
Spiegel Online reported that the exact procedure for determining this will be regulated in mutual letters on the the matter that are to be exchanged between Jerusalem and Berlin.
As details of the fraud investigation emerged, Germany postponed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in July. Sources involved in the deal said that the attorney-general and officials in the National Security Council and Defense Ministry were involved in a process with the German government that led to a decision to go ahead with the sale.