Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday night responded to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion according to which there was a secret reason why Netanyahu approved the sale of technologically advanced German submarines to Egypt, which he did not share with the IDF chief of staff and the defense minister, but did share with the AG.
In the exclusive and unscheduled interview the prime minister unexpectedly gave to Channel 12 Saturday night (See: In Surprise Interview with Real Journalists, Netanyahu Less than Convincing), he claimed that for a secret security reason that he cannot reveal, he was empowered to approve the sale of submarines to Egypt. According to Netanyahu, the attorney general is among the few people who were aware of this.
In response to a petition by the Movement for Quality Government, the AG clarified: “I was not exposed to secret data regarding the approval for the submarines sale to Egypt.”
The AG wrote further that “the investigation of the submarine affair was conducted in a thorough and meticulous manner, and all its actions were taken solely for reasons of seeking the truth.”
As part of the testimony of the prime minister in the submarines affair (case 3000), which was taken without a warning, Netanyahu also answered questions about the sale of German submarines to Egypt, and explained in this context that there was a sensitive reason why he did not object to the sale of the submarines. ”
The attorney general noted: “The prime minister added that because of the secrecy of this reason, he could not expose it to police interrogators, but said he was prepared to complete his testimony on the subject in a special testimony that he would give to the Attorney General and the State Attorney only.”
“Since this confidential data was not needed at the time for the criminal investigation, it was decided – with the consent of all the relevant investigation and enforcement authorities – that it was not necessary to go deeper and clarify the secret in question,” Mandelblit explained.
“In order to avoid any doubt, it should be noted that the Attorney General was not exposed to this confidential data at any stage,” Mandelblit concluded.