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Attorney general asks Gantz to delay probe into submarine scandal

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Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has asked Defense Minister Benny Gantz to hold off on his probe into the submarine scandal, denting the Blue and White party leader’s political leverage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mandelblit said Gantz should wait until a criminal probe into the naval acquisitions scandal can be completed.

There was no immediate comment from Gantz, whose bombshell announcement last week that he would launch an inquiry was seen as a shot across the bow of Netanyahu, his coalition partner.

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The submarine affair, also known as Case 3000, revolves around allegations of a massive bribery scheme in the multi-billion-shekel state purchase of naval vessels from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit speaks at an event at Bar Ilan University, March 4, 2020. (FLASH90)

While several of Netanyahu’s close associates face charges in the case, which involves suspicions Israeli officials were bribed to push for the acquisitions of naval vessels and submarines from Thyssenkrupp, the prime minister has not been implicated and the attorney general has said he is not a suspect.

Netanyahu, who was accused by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon of having led an improper effort to buy the submarines from Thyssenkrupp, has previously blocked a number of efforts to form a parliamentary commission of inquiry.

In announcing the inquiry, the defense minister’s........

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