Germany 'approves' controversial Israel submarine deal amid graft probe

Germany 'approves' controversial Israel submarine deal amid graft probe
Germany 'conditionally approves' deal to sell three submarines to Israel amid ongoing investigations into alleged money laundering and corruption.
2 min read
21 October, 2017
The deal is between Israel and ThyssenKrupp for the sale of three submarines [AFP]

Germany has reportedly approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the sale of three submarines to Israel, Israeli media reported on Friday.

"The Germans have given their approval to the deal," an Israeli official familiar with the issue said, according to AFP.

The signing of the deal, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks, has been delayed due to an ongoing probe into corruption allegations relating to the agreement.

In July, several Israelis were arrested on suspicion of offences including bribery and money laundering around the deal to buy the Dolphin submarines from German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.

David Shimron, a relative of Netanyahu and his family lawyer who also represented ThyssenKrupp in Israel, was among those questioned and then released.

The investigation was prompted by a Channel 10 news report which alleged that there was a conflict of interests in the deal due to the involvement of attorney David Shimron.

Shimron, who is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's private lawyer, also represents ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel, Miki Ganor.

Germnany, however, has emphasised that despite the reported approval, no deal has been signed.

"We had other talks about it, but a deal was not made until now," a German government spokesperson told AFP.

Netanyahu recently lashed out at Israel's police and media over a wider investigation into graft allegations, claiming that there "is a transparent media campaign" against him.