State to indict two more top defense officials in Case 3000

The Submarine Affair has jumped to the forefront right before next week's election.

David Shimron, Eliezer Marom, Avriel Bar-Yosef, Modi Zandberg, Sharan, Shai Brosh (photo credit: FLASH90)
David Shimron, Eliezer Marom, Avriel Bar-Yosef, Modi Zandberg, Sharan, Shai Brosh
(photo credit: FLASH90)
The state announced on Thursday it will likely indict two more top defense officials for bribery, in addition to a group already noted in December, in Case 3000, the Submarine Affair.
The announcement came only days before the March 2 election and only a week after an announcement that employees of a company formerly run by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz was to be probed (Gantz himself is not a suspect).
One of the officials is Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Avriel Bar-Yosef, who served as deputy chief of the National Security Council and was due to be promoted to chief until he came under investigation. The other official, Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Shai Brosh, was a top navy officer until 2001. Both are accused of requesting and offering bribes. Bar-Yosef is also accused of fraud and breach of trust, and Brosh is also accused of money laundering and tax fraud.
The Justice Ministry said the December 5 announcement regarding Bar-Yosef was delayed because he was out of the country at the time. Brosh’s part in the case is connected to Bar-Yosef as a middleman for passing messages with other allied conspirators.
There has also been speculation that one or more of the men might turn state’s witness.
The two men join two top former aides to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a former commander of the navy and others who are suspected of bribery and a variety of crimes in Case 3000.
The decisions are subject to pre-indictment hearings, which have been delayed by working through a security protocol with the IDF due to the sensitivity of the issues involved.
In November 2018, the police recommended that several of Netanyahu’s top aides be indicted for a scheme to skim off the top of large deals in which Germany’s Thyssenkrupp firm was selling Israel nuclear submarines.
Netanyahu was not a suspect at the time, though there were later developments that the police are still probing regarding his potential financial connections to the affair.
The two top Netanyahu officials are David Shimron, who has served as a Netanyahu confidante, lawyer and is also his cousin, and David Sharan, who served as his chief of staff.
Shimron is accused of money laundering, while Sharan is accused of bribery, money laundering, breach of trust and violation of campaign financing laws.
Eliezer Marom is a former chief of the navy accused of bribery, money laundering and tax crimes.
Yuval Steinitz, who at various times served as finance minister and then as energy minister, has two aides, Rami Taib and Yitzhak Liber, who are accused of serving as middle men in the bribery scheme and money laundering and aiding in tax fraud, respectively.
Steinitz has never been a suspect, though the prosecution statement says Bar-Yosef acted to persuade Thyssenkrupp official Walter Freitag of his and Ganor’s usefulness by obtaining a meeting for Freitag with Steinitz.
Former minister Eliezer Zandburg is accused of bribery, money laundering, breach of trust and tax crimes while he was running the Keren Hayesod fund. He was allegedly paid NIS 103,000 to advance the scheme during 2012-2016.
Miki Ganor, who at one point was the state’s witness who helped break the case open but later recanted his cooperation with the state, is accused of bribery, money laundering, tax crimes and violating campaign finance laws.
He received NIS 10,402,971 from Thyssenkrupp for his success in advancing deals between Israel and the company regarding the nuclear submarines. However, according to the prosecution statement, a significant part of how he advanced the deals was by paying bribes to Israeli national security officials.
Notably absent from the announcements has been Netanyahu confidante Yitzhak Molcho. It has been rumored for a long time that Molcho would not be indicted.
Netanyahu is not mentioned as a suspect, though the spin-off cases from the Submarine Affair regarding his finances are still at an initial stage.
Being that those issues are not mentioned in the announcement could indicate that Netanyahu is off the hook from even the Case 3000 spin-off issues.
Prior to 2011, Israel had already bought five nuclear submarines from Thyssenkrupp. But starting in 2011, it pursued buying a sixth submarine. As of 2015, Israel started the process to purchase three more submarines, bringing the number to nine. All of this occurred during the time of Ganor’s alleged scheme.
Starting in 2014 and after, Ganor allegedly paid Bar-Yosef NIS 420,000 for the deputy National Security Council adviser’s role in getting Ganor appointed to his role in 2009 as well as facilitating Ganor’s deals via the Prime Minister’s Office and the Knesset.
The NIS 420,000 came after Ganor refused Bar-Yosef’s initial demand for €1 million.
To cover up the illegalities, the two forged documents alleging Bar-Yosef had provided legitimate consulting services.
In addition, Bar-Yosef and Ganor often used Brosh as an intermediary.
Bar-Yosef served as a top expert for the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee from 2004-2009 and as deputy chief of the National Security Council from 2009-2015. Each position afforded him opportunities to facilitate the scheme.
From 2013-2016, Ganor also sent payments of NIS 35,000 and NIS 58,000 to Sharan for advancing Ganor’s and the scheme’s interests both as chief of staff for Steinitz and later as chief of staff for Netanyahu.
The NIS 58,000 was sent to Sharan through Liber.
Ganor brought Shimron into the case to sign onto various banking documents that he wanted to avoid personally signing due to various legal issues.
Without Shimron, Ganor could not have promoted a $100m. investment of the Germany-Israel Fund in a Swiss bank. He needed to disguise his involvement in the deal, which perhaps implicated him in a conflict of interest between him and the chairman of the fund, Atalia Rosenbaum.