NetanyahuFlash 90

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday night that no investigation will be opened against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the shares scandal which is related to the Submarine Affair.

Mandelblit adopted the recommendation of the police and the State Attorney's Office to close the file on suspicions that the prime minister had submitted a false report to the Permits Committee on the extent of his holdings in the shares. "Despite the doubts - there is no basis for a criminal investigation," the attorney general stated.

The potential investigation revolved around shares Netanyahu purchased in the Texas-based SeaDrift Coke company in 2007. He purchased the shares for $400,000 and sold them for $4.3 million in 2010, an increase of over ten times in three years.

The attorney general stated that the difference in price for which Netanyahu bought and sold his shares “raises the possibility that Netanyahu bought the rights with participation from the Milikowsky family for a price drastically lower than its true value, and thus received much more significant benefits.”

"However, given the passage of time, there is a difficulty in collecting a comprehensive evidentiary basis that will allow findings about the existence and scope of the benefits, which are tied to the value of the businesses they dealt in,” he noted.

Mandelblit also noted that the statute of limitations for the offences of fraud and breach of trust had passed even before the matter was first brought to his attention.

SeaDrift produces needle coke used for manufacturing graphite electrodes. It was purchased by GrafTech International, which supplies the German company ThyssenKrupp which is accused of bribing Israeli officials in the Submarine Affair.