Witness in Netanyahu Trial Killed in Plane Crash Near Greece

YERUSHALAYIM -
The scene of the plane crash on Monday evening off the Greek island of Samos. (Patras Times)

The two Israelis killed in a plane crash near Greece on Monday evening were identified as Chaim Garon and his wife, Esther, z”l.

Garon was former deputy director of the Communications Ministry and a prosecution witness in former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s trial.

Netanyahu has been charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three corruption cases. One of them – Case 4000 – alleges that the former prime minister promoted regulations worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the owner of the Bezeq telecom company, Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for positive coverage on its Walla news site.

Garon’s testimony was set to center on regulatory issues regarding this case.

The Garons were reportedly on their way to North Macedonia.

The private aircraft crashed near the eastern Aegean island of Samos, where they were supposed to make a pit stop.

The cause for the crash of the plane, a Cessna 182 that operates from a small airfield in Haifa, is still unknown, but most likely stemmed from technical difficulties before landing.

The four-passenger aircraft is considered very safe and reliable and is mainly used for training flights and leisure flights among other civilian uses.

According to local media reports, three ships rushed to the crash scene, including a Coast Guard vessel and a fishing boat. A Greek Air Force Super Puma helicopter was also dispatched to the crash site.

“We spotted debris of the aircraft in the sea about a mile south from the airport,” a coast guard official told Reuters.