Two suspects in submarine investigation released to house arrest
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Two suspects in submarine investigation released to house arrest

David Sharan, Netanyahu’s former chief of staff, and adviser Tzachi Lieber to remain at home for 10 days

David Sharan is seen during a remand hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court, September 3, 2017. (Flash90)
David Sharan is seen during a remand hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court, September 3, 2017. (Flash90)

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday released to house arrest two suspects in a case of alleged corruption surrounding a multi-million dollar deal to purchase naval vessels from a German shipbuilder.

David Sharan and Tzachi Lieber were both released to 10 days of detention at home.

Sharan, a former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, is reportedly suspected of taking bribes in exchange for promoting the purchase of submarines and other vessels in deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Lieber, a political adviser, is suspected of conveying bribes from state witness Miki Ganor, who represented the German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp.

Both men were arrested at the beginning of last week.

The list of officials arrested or questioned in the probe, dubbed Case 3000, has been rapidly expanding in light of testimony given by Ganor. After being identified as a key suspect in the case, Ganor turned state’s witness in July.

Miki Ganor attends a hearing at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on July 21, 2017. (Flash90)

Investigators suspect that Ganor, along with former National Security Council deputy head Avriel Bar-Yosef, paid bribes in connection with the decision to buy the vessels from ThyssenKrupp.

Sharan served as Netanyahu’s bureau chief from late 2014 to 2016. A lieutenant colonel in the IDF reserves and former chief of staff to Steinitz when he was finance minister, Sharan is a longtime Likud operative and confidant of the prime minister.

While Netanyahu is not a suspect in the case, his personal lawyer, David Shimron, has been questioned several times by the police’s anti-corruption unit Lahav 433. Ganor has reportedly told investigators that Shimron (who was also his attorney) was to receive 20 percent of his own commission of $45 million.

Earlier Monday Gary Hakim, a businessman and Steinitz’s brother-in-law, and Aviad Shai, who served as an adviser to Steinitz when he was finance minister, were both named as suspects recently questioned by police in connection to the case.

Hakim and Shai were questioned Sunday at the Lod headquarters of the Lahav 433 unit. Hakim was questioned under caution, while Shai was arrested by police before he was questioned.

The two were later released to house arrest with restrictions on where they can go and with whom they may meet and speak until the end of the investigation.

Although Steinitz himself has not been implicated, the energy minister is expected to be summoned to provide testimony in the case.

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