Germany delays official signing of sub deal over corruption investigation


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Germany has delayed the official signing of a deal to sell three new submarines to Israel over a corruption investigation into the multi-billion-dollar deal.

The official memorandum of understanding for the sale had been scheduled to be signed next week in Germany. The signing has been postponed indefinitely, Ynet reported Tuesday.

Germany, which has committed to paying one-third of the deal, had already authorized the sale of the submarines made by the German company ThyssenKrupp to Israel, though with a clause that allows the deal to be canceled if the investigation finds that the deal came about due to bribery or corruption.

Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Adam flew to Germany to try to prevent the outright cancellation of the deal, Ynet reported.

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On Monday, news reports surfaced that Michael Ganor, a businessman and former Israeli military official who was heavily involved in the deal as ThyssenKrupp’s Israeli agent, was negotiating to turn state’s witness.

The investigation into what is known as Case 3000 began in November after allegations that David Shimron, a friend and personal attorney to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convinced Netanyahu to purchase the subs from ThyssenKrupp rather than through an international tender.

Police suspect a series of crimes was committed surrounding the purchase of three submarines from the German company ThyssenKrupp, including bribery, fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.

Netanyahu currently is not a suspect in Case 3000, police have asserted.

The submarine deal, which would take about 10 years to fulfill, is meant to replace three older submarines in the Israeli Navy’s fleet.

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