Israel police to probe Netanyahu lawyer's role in German submarine deal

Israel police to probe Netanyahu lawyer's role in German submarine deal
By Alasdair Sandford with REUTERS
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The attorney-general has ordered an inquiry into a contract for three submarines over a possible conflict of interest.


Israeli police are to investigate a government contract with Germany to provide three submarines following revelations hinting that private interests implicating the prime minister’s lawyer may have driven the deal.

The attorney-general has ordered the inquiry after it emerged last week that Benjamin Netanyahu’s legal representative also acts for the local agent for the German shipyards due to build the subs.

Israel already has several submarines which are seen as playing an important deterrent against nuclear attack.

But the purchase of three extra vessels to replace an ageing fleet is contentious: Israel’s former defence minister, who was replaced by Netanyahu, believed they weren’t needed.

The prime minister has said he knew nothing of the links between his lawyer and the German side, insisting that Israeli security was the only factor involved in the decision.

The lawyer, David Shimron, denies wrongdoing.

There has been no indication that the deal is in jeopardy or that Netanyahu is in any immediate political danger.

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