Ex-Leader of Israeli Navy Detained in Sub Scandal
On Tuesday, Israeli police detained Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom (ret'd.), head of the Israeli Navy from 2007 to 2011, for questioning related to the ongoing ThyssenKrupp procurement scandal.
The investigation centers on the actions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's lawyer, David Shimron, who allegedly worked as a paid agent for ThyssenKrupp during deliberations on a contract for three new submarines from the German defense contractor. Netanyahu is not a suspect in the investigation himself, but police intend to summon him for questioning. His office maintains that the deal was done "in an orderly and professional process with no outside influence and with the recommendation of . . . the security establishment."
In addition to Vice Adm. Marom, police arrested ThyssenKrupp representative Michael Ganor; Ronen Shemer, a lawyer and an associate of Ganor; and Avriel Bar-Yosef, a government official who helped write the justification behind the submarine deal. The men were brought in on suspicion of engaging in money laundering, tax evasion, fraud and bribery.
Netanyahu's former defense minister, Moshe Ya'alon, has threatened to release what he knows about the scandal to the media if the investigation does not produce an indictment. Ya'alon was a fierce critic of the deal, and his disagreement with Netanyahu over the deal with ThyssenKrupp was reportedly a factor in his dismissal last year. In an interview, Ya'alon told CNN that he believes that Netanyahu was personally involved and will eventually be indicted.
The naval procurement investigation is not the only corruption scandal involving Netanyahu's associates. Last May, police recommended charges of graft for Netanyahu's wife, Sara, for allegedly using state funds to decorate and maintain the family's private home. Netanyahu is also suspected of conspiring to damage the business of Israel’s top news daily in exchange for more favorable coverage from a competing newspaper. The prime minister denies any wrongdoing.