In a stunning turnabout, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced on Wednesday that an inquiry into the submarine affair will in fact proceed, after new evidence surfaced in the case.
The news came only a day after Mandelblit’s office said he would not pursue a criminal investigation into the role of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his lawyer David Shimron in the purchase of submarines from Germany.
However, it now appears that an email from a Defense Ministry official alleges that Shimron intervened on behalf of a German shipyard concerning a sale of missile boats to the Israel Navy.
The email, dated July 22, 2014, reportedly states: “Attorney David Shimron, who represents the German firm, called me and wanted to know if we are halting the bidding process in order to negotiate with his client, as was requested of us by the prime minister.”
Shimron issued an unequivocal denial in response, saying that he “didn’t know a thing about a request from the prime minister, which I have only learned about now from the media…”
“I also didn’t have the vaguest notion about involvement by the prime minister in the shipyard issue. Any other interpretation is not connected to the truth,” Shimron said.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman defended the controversial deal earlier on Wednesday, responding to criticism voiced by his predecessor, Moshe Yaalon, said to have opposed it.
“We made a very good decision to protect our security with the submarine,” Lieberman said. “It is impossible to detail all the discussions. I can promise you that we made the best decision with a broad consensus among security officials and politicians.”