(photo credit: OHAD TZVEIGENBERG/POOL)
National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz was questioned by police last week over his part in Israel’s purchase of German-made naval vessels, the “submarines affair,” otherwise known as Case 3000, Kan news reported on Sunday.
Steinitz was questioned as a witness, not as a suspect in the case.
Kan reported that the investigation is in its last stages and is close to being concluded.
One of the last steps to complete that investigation will be collecting the testimony of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose role as prime minister put him in charge of Israel’s security system when the purchase was made.
In February, Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich said during a discussion at the Knesset that it was only natural for the prime minister to be questioned in the case, as he was a senior figure in that system when the transaction took place.
“There is no option that in a case like the submarines affair we would not hear the version of all those involved,” Alsheich said. “When I say ‘involved,’ I mean those who were involved in decision- making when submarines were purchased.”
“This is why, when we were asked two to three months ago if the prime minister will be giving his testimony, I said, ‘Of course.’ Would you imagine a situation in which the prime minister won’t be questioned? It doesn’t mean that he would be questioned under caution or that he is a suspect,” Alsheich continued.
Kan’s report said the police were leaning toward recommending the state’s prosecution indict all senior figures involved in the case, including Netanyahu’s closest associates, his personal lawyer David Shimron, his special diplomatic envoy Yitzhak Molcho; former deputy head of the National Security Council Avriel Bar-Yosef; and former Navy chief Eliezer Marom.