- Title: Israel police to probe naval contract with Germany - attorney-general
- Date: 23rd November 2016
- Summary: JERUSALEM (NOVEMBER 20, 2016) (REUTERS) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, WALKING INTO WEEKLY CABINET MEETING DEFENCE MINISTER AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN/ NETANYAHU CONVENING CABINET MEETING (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "Israel's security requires the purchase of submarines and the renewal of the submarine fleet. These are strategic weapon systems that assure the future, and I tell you, the mere existence, of the state of Israel for the next decades. Strengthening Israel's security power is the only consideration that led me in purchasing the submarines and is the only consideration that always leads me. This and no other." VARIOUS OF NETANYAHU IN MEETING
- Embargoed: 8th December 2016 18:52
- Keywords: Israel Germany Submarines Netanyahu
- Location: HAIFA, ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM
- City: HAIFA, ISRAEL AND JERUSALEM
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA00159O2QTJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Israel's attorney-general ordered the police on Wednesday (November 23) to open an investigation into a government contract with Germany for three submarines and other naval craft, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.
The deal has come under public scrutiny since it emerged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal lawyer also represents the local agent of the German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems set to build the vessels.
The Justice Ministry statement said that the attorney general ordered the investigation following new information that had been received from the police and in view of "other developments in the matter".
Both Netanyahu and his attorney David Shimron have denied any impropriety and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems said it has no contractual connection with the lawyer.
Opening a weekly meeting of his cabinet on Sunday (November 20), Netanyahu denied any foreign consideration involved in the deal.
"Strengthening Israel's security power is the only consideration that led me in purchasing the submarines and is the only consideration that always leads me. This and no other," he said.
On Tuesday (November 22), Netanyahu's office issued a statement defending Shimron's integrity after media allegations about the lawyer's links to a multi-million dollar government submarine contract with Germany.
Shimron represents Miki Ganor, an Israeli businessman described by the Kiel-based shipyards as its sales partner.
A Shimron spokesman told Army Radio on Monday that the lawyer did not discuss the submarine purchase with Netanyahu and looks after a wide range of Ganor's legal interests.
The three submarines, costing about $1.5 billion, are due to replace ageing vessels and will be delivered in about 10 years.
With the Israeli media largely focused on Shimron and the ethics of his representing both Netanyahu and Ganor, the prime minister, now in his fourth term, did not appear to be in any immediate political danger.
Nor has there been any indication that the deal itself, which Netanyahu, 67, defended in public remarks to his cabinet on Sunday, is in any jeopardy.
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