Reports: Closest Netanyahu Aide Grilled in Sub Affair

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -
Attorney Yitzchak Molcho. (Michal Fattal/Flash90, File)

Media reports Tuesday said that police have questioned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s closest associate over the country’s purchase of German submarines.

Media identified Yitzchak Molcho as the second prominent lawyer to be grilled this week on the case. He joins his law partner David Shimron, Netanyahu’s personal attorney, who has long been linked to the affair.

Netanyahu is not a suspect in the case, but the investigation has engulfed his closest associates. It relates to a possible conflict of interest involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines. Shimron, who is also Netanyahu’s cousin, represented the German firm involved and is suspected of trading his influence in return for a hefty cut of the deal.

A former Cabinet minister and top former security officials have also been questioned.

Last week, Molcho resigned his office as Netanyahu’s chief negotiator.

Attorney Molcho served 10 years without remuneration and, among other tasks, led the Israeli negotiating team in the 2013–2014 peace talks with the Palestinians.

Sources close to him said the outgoing envoy decided to step down due to weariness, in particular weariness of personal attacks. His announcement came before the state was scheduled to respond to a High Court petition demanding Molcho resign over an alleged conflict of interest in the German submarine case.