Israeli police recommend trial of Netanyahu’s lawyer, others over bribery scandal

Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel [Photo Credit: CNN.com]
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel [Photo Credit: CNN.com]

Israeli police on Thursday recommended the trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer and five other suspects over a $2 billion sale of German Thyssenkrupp submarines to Israel.

The police said the suspects should be arraigned on bribery charges.

Netanyahu was questioned by police in the investigation but, in a statement announcing its conclusion, police reiterated that the prime minister is not a suspect.

The deal for three submarines and four patrol vessels had been the subject of a corruption investigation since 2016.

Israel’s Channel 10 TV first reported that David Shimron, Netanyahu’s personal lawyer and a distant relative, also represented the local agent of Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

The report implied a clear case of a conflict of interest.

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“I did not commit any crime,” Shimron told Israel’s YNet news website, which asked him about the police recommendations to prosecutors and posted an audio clip of his comments.

Shimron’s lawyer, in a statement to Reuters, also denied any wrongdoing by his client, saying he was not involved in the submarine deal.

A spokesman for Thyssenkrupp said in a statement: “Our information comes so far only from the press, we do not yet have any confirmed information.

“As soon as we know all the facts, we will examine further measures within the framework of legal possibilities.”

The other suspects facing possible indictment include retired senior naval officers and former government officials.

Mr Netanyahu has been named as a suspect in three other corruption investigations.

In February, police recommended charging him with bribery in the first two while Israel’s attorney-general was considering whether to indict him.

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(Reuters/NAN)

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