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Israeli media: Closest Netanyahu aide grilled in sub affair

Police said Molcho was questioned along with Netanyahu's personal lawyer, David Shimron, who had already been named as a suspect in the investigation of a 2016 purchase of German submarines, after it emerged that he also represented the local agent of the vessels' manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

Authorities released their identities on Tuesday. Police suspect that the Molcho tried to promote the deal during his diplomatic trips overseas while Shimron sought to advance the interests of the German shipbuilder within Israel.

Police refused to divulge why Molcho was questioned, saying merely it was part of the submarine affair, but media said he was suspected of having used his position to advance the deal.

Molcho resigned as Netanyahu's emissary last month after a private petitioner asked Israel's Supreme Court to determine whether remaining in that position while running a law firm with alleged links to the submarine deal was a conflict of interest.

Molcho is being investigated for breach of trust as a public servant since his diplomatic trips overseas were conducted on behalf of the Prime Minister. Two weeks ago, he announced that he would leave his position as the prime minister's special envoy to the Middle East peace process at the end of February.

Netanyahu is not a suspect in the case, but the investigation has engulfed his associates. They were detained in connection with Case 3000, the ongoing probe into illegal activities surrounding the purchase of German-manufactured submarines for the Israel Navy.

He is however being investigated in two separate graft probes and is expected to be interrogated again in the coming days.

Netanyahu is involved in two other police investigations one in which it is suspected that he received expensive gifts from different businessmen, and the other in which Netanyahu allegedly sought a secret deal for favourable coverage with the publisher of top-selling daily Yediot Aharonot.



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