Tue, 06 Dec 2022

JERUSALEM, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- A former Israeli minister was found guilty on Monday of breach of trust in a bribery case involving a multi-billion-U.S. dollar deal to purchase naval vessels from Germany's ThyssenKrupp conglomerate.

Eliezer Sandberg, who was convicted by the Tel Aviv District Court in a plea bargain, is expected to be sentenced to seven months of community service and pay a fine of 50,000 new shekels (14,081 U.S. dollars.)

In the case, dubbed the "submarine affair," officials including close associates of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and former senior navy officers are accused of corruption in a deal to purchase three submarines and several ships to protect Israel's offshore gas fields from Thyssenkrupp between 2009 and 2017.

According to the verdict, Sandberg abused his power as chair of Keren Hayesod, an official fundraising organization for Israel that enabled him easy access to many government officials, in order to help Miki Ganor, Thyssenkrupp's representative in Israel.

Between 2010 and 2018, Sandberg arranged three meetings between Ganor and then Prime Minister Netanyahu's chief of staff Eyal Haimovsky. He also helped Ganor collect information about the talks between Israel and Germany in order to promote the deal.

Sandberg, 60, served as Israel's former national infrastructure minister and science and technology minister between 2003 and 2004. He is the first official to be convicted in the case.

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