In the wake of police recommendations for indictments in the “submarine affair,” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called on Thursday for government ministries to commence “a housecleaning.”
“The defense minister told me that he is planning to set up an inter-ministerial committee to examine the procurement process at the Defense Ministry, and it’s time to take advantage of this affair to do a housecleaning,” she said.
Meanwhile, Israeli police officials rejected allegations made on Thursday by former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Zionist Camp chairman Avi Gabbay that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was involved in the scandal or should have known about it:
“The things they are saying in the media are very far from what they told the police,” in the testimonies during the investigation.
Yaalon said, “There was no way that Netanyahu didn’t know” about the illegalities in the submarine procurements.
Lapid also asserted PM Netanyahu was unfit to lead the country, even if he didn’t know about the corruption.
“Netanyahu owes the public an explanation,” Lapid tweeted. “What else doesn’t he know? How is it possible that those closest to him allegedly took tens of millions of dollars under the table from the sensitive arms deals that [the prime minister] was supposedly handling personally?”
PM Netanyahu’s Likud party struck back:
“The attempts of the left to pin the ‘submarine affair’ on Prime Minister Netanyahu have collapsed in the face of reality,” the party said in a statement. “We offer our condolences to [Yesh Atid leader Yair] Lapid and [Labor chief Avi] Gabbay, who once again have seen their hopes dashed of replacing Prime Minister Netanyahu by means of false accusations.”
Later in the day, David Shimron, one of six suspects that the police say should be charged with bribery and other corruption crimes in the submarine case, insisted that Netanyahu, who is also his cousin and a former law client, in fact knew nothing of the matter.
“I don’t give the prime minister information about my customers just as I don’t ask him about various matters he deals with,” Shimron told Hadashot in an interview.
“People can claim all sorts of things. The question is what is the truth, and the truth is that I never discussed this with him. I don’t think I needed to talk with him about this, neither then nor in retrospect,” he said.
Shimron also reaffirmed his own innocence and expressed confidence that the prosecutors would close the case without seeking an indictment.
“I acted 100 percent in accordance with the law, 100 percent as a lawyer,” he said.
Updated Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm added comment