Lapid: Netanyahu is epicenter of 'submarines affair'

The Yesh Atid chairman made uncharacteristically bold remarks against the prime minister, predicting that, despite Netanyahu's best efforts, police would eventually interrogate him.

Yair Lapid speaking  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yair Lapid speaking
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be questioned in connection with the “submarines affair,” Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said at a faction meeting Monday.
“The two people closest to Netanyahu – his lawyer David Shimron and another lawyer whose name is under a gag order – were detained for questioning,” Lapid recounted. “This is a new level. Not a polite invitation.... Investigators came to their home and took them.”
Lapid expressed certainty that Netanyahu will be next, and that he and the two attorneys are the “epicenter of the triangle of the ‘submarines affair.’”
The “submarines affair,” which police refer to as Case 3000, centers on allegations of corruption in Israel’s purchase of German-made naval vessels. The case further deepened on Monday when police confirmed that the second attorney Lapid mentioned – a close Netanyahu confidant – was indeed questioned about his involvement and could be suspected of breach of trust.
“I know what hasn’t been published yet. There is no scenario, no situation, in which Netanyahu is not summoned for questioning in the ‘submarines affair,’” he warned.
As for the severity of the allegations, Lapid said “this isn’t take-out trays,” referring to the case against Sara Netanyahu, “this is national security. It is the holiest of holies.”
Lapid, who was a member of the security cabinet when the submarines were purchased, was questioned in connection with the affair, but not as a suspect.
The Yesh Atid chairman came out against the bill to stop police investigators from giving a summary of their findings to the prosecutors of the State Attorney’s Office.
“These are two sides of the same coin,” Lapid said. “On one side there are investigators and attorneys doing their job. On the other side are people being investigated, trying to sabotage it.”
“The only reason Netanyahu is leading this is because of his investigations,” he added.
Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay said: “My grandmother didn’t study at MIT [like Netanyahu did], but she would say this is a hashuma. In Moroccan, that means shame.”
According to Gabbay, having the ministers approve the bill on the same day as the attorneys were arrested is especially shameful.
On Sunday night, a senior Likud source said the “submarines affair” has nothing to do with Netanyahu and accused the media of portraying him as guilty by association.
“Despite the attempt to lynch Netanyahu in a media trial whose results were set in advance, the attorney-general and State Attorney’s Office have said repeatedly that Netanyahu is not a suspect in any way in the ‘submarines affair,’” the source said.
“What value is there to a legal process when it is all happening on the pages of newspapers and in television studios, through illegal, biased leaks to the media?” he asked.
Joy Bernard contributed to this report.