(JNS.org) Germany announced Tuesday that it will postpone the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Israel for the sale of three submarines from the German manufacturerThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), due to an ongoing criminal investigation into the $1.5 billion deal.
Israeli Ambassador to Germany Yakov Hadas-Handelsman was scheduled to sign the agreement next week.
The Israel Police recently detained a former IDF general for questioning as part of the probe, dubbed “Case 3,000.” Investigators suspect the crimes include bribery and money laundering.
The fact that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal attorney, David Shomron, represents TKMS in Israel led to a media firestorm in January, despite denials by the prime minister and Shomron of any improper decision-making or undue influence during the acquisition. Adding to the controversy, Iran holds a 4.5-percent stake in the German manufacturer.
In late June, a billion-dollar deal, in which Israel Aerospace Industries would have leased Heron-2 drones to the German Air Force, was cancelled due to opposition within Germany’s governing coalition.