Asher Grunis
Asher Grunis Flash 90

Former Supreme Court President Asher Grunis was appointed on Sunday as chairman of the state commission of inquiry that will investigate Israel’s purchase of submarines and surface vessels.

Grunis served as Supreme Court president from 2012 to 2015 and recently headed the search committee for Israel’s attorney general.

Other members of the commission of inquiry are former Supreme Court Justice Zvi Zylbertal, former Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug, former Israel Navy Commander in Chief Avraham Ben-Shoshan and former Israel Air Force head of equipment and procurement, Kobi Bortman.

The commission of inquiry will examine the manner in which the government approved deals to purchase three submarines, four defensive surface vessels and two anti-submarine vessels from German company ThyssenKrupp between 2009 and 2016.

The commission will also examine an attempt to transfer responsibility for maintaining the submarines from the navy’s shipyards to the German corporation. It will also examine how Israel’s consent was given for the sale of advanced German submarines to Egypt.

Sunday’s announcement comes a month after the government approved the establishment of the commission of inquiry which Defense Minister Benny Gantz has been pushing to establish.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett abstained during the Cabinet vote on the issue, while Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked objected.

Housing and Construction Minister Ze'ev Elkin supported the establishment of the committee after Gantz clarified that there would be no negative effect on basic security issues.

Gantz welcomed the appointment of Grunis to head the committee, saying on Sunday, "I am confident that he will lead to an investigation of the truth and the strengthening of the defense establishment."