Watchdog Group Seeks Probe Into Netanyahu Role in Submarine Deal

(Bloomberg) --

An Israeli watchdog group petitioned the High Court to order a criminal investigation into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s role in a controversial $2 billion deal for submarines and corvettes that has ensnared members of his innermost circle.

The petition filed on Tuesday by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel also asked for a state inquiry into the decision-making process behind the deal. The group acted after senior military personnel came forward to provide testimony and affidavits concerning improper procedures they say were taken.

“This affair threatens the country’s foundations and critically harms its national security,” the group’s director, Eliad Shraga, told reporters. Netanyahu has denied any connection to the submarine affair and Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit has said he is not a suspect in the investigations.

The prime minister did, however, go on trial in May after being indicted in three other corruption cases. For years, as he faced first accusations of wrongdoing and then a formal indictment, Netanyahu’s mantra has been, “there will be nothing, because there isn’t anything.”

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