An important detail emerged in the Cessna 172 crash near Samos on September 13: one of the passengers who died was a prosecution witness in the case of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The tragedy took place on Monday 13 September in the evening, over the Aegean Sea near the island of Samos, where the plane taking off from Haifa was supposed to land. There were two people on board – a former high-ranking official of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, Haim Geron, and his wife. Coast Guard divers were able to locate the bodies of the dead and raise them to the surface.
Geron was reportedly one of the witnesses the Israeli prosecutor’s office intended to question in connection with the trial of Netanyahu, who is accused of corruption. The Greek police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the plane crash.
By first information, the pilot tried to land, but he had problems and the aircraft crashed into the Aegean Sea. According to eyewitnesses, there was an explosion in the air – the engine probably exploded.
It is known that the engines themselves do not explode, which means that it is most likely a matter of sabotage.
What is the Israeli prime minister accused of
In the spring of 2020, a high-profile trial began in Israel in the case of then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. The Israeli prime minister himself categorically denies all accusations against him, calling the trial a politically motivated “witch-hunt.”
Netanyahu’s three cases
The Israeli police investigation lasted over three years, following which the country’s attorney general Avihai Mandelblit indicted Netanyahu in three different cases: “case 1000”, “case 2000” and “case 4000”. In the so-called “1000 case” Benjamin Netanyahu is accused of receiving expensive gifts over the years, including from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer. Netanyahu’s wife and son, according to the prosecution, also received expensive gifts: cigars, champagne, jewelry, air tickets – all this drew a total of about 230 thousand euros.
In the 2000 case, as in the previous one, according to the prosecution, there are signs of fraud and abuse of confidence on the part of the prime minister. According to the investigation, Netanyahu probably agreed with the founder of the Israeli newspaper Jediot Achronot, Arnon Moses, that the daily should provide information in his favor. The prime minister’s defense denies this accusation, pointing out that such a goal did not exist.
Case 4000 deals with the so-called quid pro quo – an agreement on the provision of mutual services between Netanyahu and media mogul Shaul Elovich, the then shareholder of Israel’s largest telecommunications company, Bezek. As part of this case, the Prime Minister is accused of providing legal support and promoting the interests of Bezek as Minister of Communications. And in exchange, Netanyahu, allegedly, could repeatedly interfere with the work of the Walla news portal, led by Elovich, in order to influence his coverage of events. In this case, the prime minister is accused of bribery, breach of trust and fraud.