A key witness for the state in the alleged bribery of officials in the purchase of German naval vessels has lost his immunity from prosecution after changing his testimony.
State prosecutors notified lobbyist Miki Ganor on Tuesday that his decision to deny acts of bribery he had previously confessed to will result in loss of the immunity he had been promised, as the change has damaged his credibility.
Attorney Liat Ben-Ari Shweiki informed Ganor’s legal counsel in a letter that the deal prosecutors made with him is canceled “both because of the presentation of versions that are substantially different from previous versions that [Ganor] gave shortly after signing an agreement, and because of the damage to his credibility stemming from the delivery of this new version.”
Ganor, a former agent in Israel for the German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp, signed an agreement with prosecutors in July 2017 to cooperate in the probe. At that time, he admitted to bribing a number of senior officials in order to help secure contracts for Thyssenkrupp with Israel’s Defense Ministry.
In return for assisting police investigators, prosecutors agreed to set aside more serious corruption charges against him and settle for a punishment only for his tax offenses, which involved a one-year prison sentence and a fine of NIS 10 million (roughly $2.7 million).
Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was never named as a suspect in the case, several of his closest associates, along with Eliezer Marom, a former head of the Israeli Navy, have been implicated.