Netanyahu testified before commision of inquiry into submarine affair

Benjamin Netanyahu, then prime minister, seen at a welcoming ceremony for a new submarine, Rahav, at the Israeli Navy base in Haifa, on January 12, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu, then prime minister, seen at a welcoming ceremony for a new submarine, Rahav, at the Israeli Navy base in Haifa, on January 12, 2016. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among several people who gave testimony to the state commission of inquiry into submarine and naval vessel purchases that occurred under one of his previous governments.

Netanyahu’s name was listed among the names of witnesses and those who gave interviews in documents published by the commission.

Israel purchased the vessels from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp in a $2 billion deal that has been under scrutiny for possible corruption and bribery. Netanyahu was questioned by police in connection with the deal and several of his close associates were indicted for their involvement in the negotiations.

The commission was set up under the previous government of Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett and was tasked with evaluating the procedures and decision-making employed by the political echelon related to the sensitive procurement.

The publication also said the committee was examing thousands of documents.

A state commission of inquiry is the most serious type of Knesset commission. Imbued with broad powers to call witnesses and compel testimony, it runs a quasi-judicial process that can result in recommendations for further action against both individuals and public sector bodies.

The state prosecution has declined to open a criminal probe into Netanyahu’s involvement in the affair, and the attorney general has said he is not suspected of wrongdoing.

Netanyahu is currently on trial in three other separate graft cases.

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