Germany announced Tuesday its decision to postpone signing of an agreement with Israel for purchase of three new submarines amid the rapidly expanding corruption scandal surrounding several multi-billion-dollar naval deals between the two countries.
The National Security Council official’s statement comes following a report in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that Germany postponed the signing of the memorandum in light of Israel's investigation into possible corruption in the deal.
According to the daily, the signing of the memorandum was meant to take place next week in Germany, but the event has been postponed indefinitely.
The submarine deal is meant to replace the Israeli Navy's three older submarines with newer ones. According to the plan, the deal is due to take place only in 10 years' time.
Israel’s Defense Ministry head Udi Adam met his counterpart recently in Germany over concerns that Berlin might cancel the deal prompted, the daily reports.
The news follows last week's detainment and house arrest of David Shimron, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer. Questions over the submarine deal surfaced in November, with a Channel 10 report that Shimron worked as an intermediary for Miki Ganor, the Israel representative of German shipbuilder.
Ganor, along with former National Security Council deputy head Avriel Bar-Yosef, are suspected of paying out bribes in connection with a decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to buy three submarines from ThyssenKrupp, despite opposition from the Israeli Defense Ministry. Ganor is suspected of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit a crime.