Israel’s Justice Ministry announced on Thursday plans to indict seven men, including David Shimron, Benjamin Netanyahu’s attorney and relative, Eliezer Marom, former Navy commander and Miki Ganor, businessman and Thyssenkrupp’s local representative, for various criminal offences, including bribery, money laundering and fraud, over a $2 billion purchase of submarines from Germany.
All suspects have denied any wrongdoing, but will face a pre-trial hearing.
Israeli police also recommended charging National Security Council deputy, Avriel Bar-Yosef, for bribery, fraud, breach of trust and conspiracy to commit a crime, however no decision on the case has been announced yet.
The submarines affair, known as Case 3000, involves two deals signed by Israel and German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp for the purchase of three nuclear-capable submarines for 1.5 billion euros and of naval patrol boats for €430 million.
The deal has been under public scrutiny since November 2016, after an investigative report on TV Channel 10, led to an inquiry followed by a criminal investigation.
After the case was brought to the surface, the German firm suspended its ties with businessman Ganor and launched an internal investigation which found no evidence of corruption in its handling of the 2016 contract.
While Netanyahu is not a suspect, he was questioned in the investigation, after prosecutors found out that his attorney had also represented Ganor. Netanyahu has denied any allegations by saying that he was trapped in a politically motivated witch-hunt orchestrated by the police and judiciary.
The Israeli PM is already facing his own separate corruption indictments, after being accused of manipulating the country’s media by trading valuable favours and of accepting hundreds of thousands of pounds in luxury gifts from billionaire friends.