The office of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has announced he will order an investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal attorney, David Shimron’s connection to Israel’s purchase of three new German submarines.
A statement by the Justice Ministry said, “Following new information received… from Israel Police and in view of other developments in connection with the matter… the Attorney-General has ordered an investigation to be carried out by police concerning various aspects of the issue.”
The probe is being held to determine if Shimron acted out of a conflict of interest, among other issues.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday that the purchase of the submarines, which will brings Israel’s fleet up to nine, was the right decision for the country. He added that the move was supported by “a large consensus in the security and political establishment.”
The decision to purchase the subs was made by the government after recommendations by the security cabinet, the National Security Council and the Foreign Ministry. Israeli media have been focused on scrutinizing the move, with Israel’s Channel 10 TV news among those who have been accused of seeking ways to undermine the prime minister.
Shimron has been the prime minister’s personal lawyer for many years, but is also representing the German company that sells the submarines. Channel 10 has alleged the sale was opposed by the IDF and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon.
An IDF spokesperson said earlier this month, however, that the military had informed the cabinet of a “need” for new submarines. The National Security Agency (NSA), said in a statement that there was been a “wave of false reports” and that in fact, the deal with Germany to purchase the latest group of new submarines was fully supported by Ya’alon.Hana Levi Julian