Close associates of Israeli PM to be indicted in graft case

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for a meeting with Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa at Sao Bento Palace in Lisbon Portugal, December 5, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 05 December 2019

Close associates of Israeli PM to be indicted in graft case

  • State prosecutor Shai Nitzan’s office said in a statement the seven would be charged with various offenses

JERUSALEM: Israel’s state prosecutor said Thursday he intends to indict seven men, including close associates of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a sweeping graft case related to a possible conflict of interest involving a $2 billion purchase of German submarines.
State prosecutor Shai Nitzan’s office said in a statement the seven would be charged with various offenses, among them bribery, money laundering and fraud, pending a hearing.
Netanyahu was questioned, but not named as a suspect, in the submarine probe, known as “file 3000.” But it roped in some of his closest aides and sparked questions about his earnings on a related German submarine sale to Egypt.
Among those to be charged were Netanyahu’s personal attorney, David Shimron, who is also his cousin. Shimron represented the German firm involved and was suspected of using his influence over the prime minister in return for a hefty cut of the deal.
Also set to be indicted is David Sharan, who once headed Netanyahu’s office. The former head of the navy has also been implicated.
After seeming to escape the submarine scandal, it was revealed that Netanyahu reportedly earned $4 million on a related German submarine sale to Egypt by owning shares in one of the German manufacturer’s suppliers. He has denied wrongdoing.
Netanyahu was recently charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases in which he is accused of trading regulatory or legislative favors in exchange for lavish gifts and favorable news coverage.
Netanyahu has professed innocence in all three, saying the charges are trumped up by a biased justice system egged on by a liberal media.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, is fighting for his political life following two inconclusive elections and the likelihood of an unprecedented third in one year.
With the charges against him issued amid the political impasse, Netanyahu has driven up his rhetoric against his perceived enemies, berating law enforcement institutions and calling for “the investigators to be investigated.”


G20 discusses long-term vision for the digital economy

Updated 47 sec ago

G20 discusses long-term vision for the digital economy

  • Members from G20 countries, guest countries, international and regional organizations met

RIYADH: The G20 Digital Economy Taskforce (DETF) held consecutive virtual meetings on June 3 to June 4 to discuss a comprehensive approach to digital economy policymaking and the future of digitalization.

Members from G20 countries, guest countries, international and regional organizations, addressed the relevance of digitalization in maintaining business operations following the COVID-19 outbreak.

READ ARAB NEWS' DEDICATED G20 SPOTLIGHT HERE

Data Flows, Smart Cities, Digital Economy measurement and Digital Security were also on the agenda as well as the Connecting Humanity 2030 initiative.

Delegates also discussed digitalization in the context of the current crisis with a long-term vision for the best use of digital tools to build economic resiliency and promote job retention.

Prior to the DETF meeting, on June 1, the Dialogue on Trustworthy AI in Pandemic Response brought together experts from both the public and private sectors, and academia to explore the optimal role of government in Artificial Intelligence.

The potential use of the technology in diverse sectors was raised, along with how AI can be an efficient tool in pandemic responses. The Dialogue also examined the G20’s role in policy discussions and the long-term inclusion of AI on the G20 agenda.

G20 Digital Economy Ministers will review and continue the work of the Taskforce at their meeting on July 22-23.