The weekly polite protest in front of the German embassy in Tel-Aviv today, has called upon the German government to act upon the OECD anti bribery convention, the UN anti-corruption convention and German Federal law. We have called upon Chancellor Angela Merkel and Justice Minister Katarina Barley to immediately suspend the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal.
The OECD convention notes that it is "the first and only international anti-corruption instrument focused on the ‘supply side’ of the bribery transaction." Therefore, the duties and obligations in this case are vested in the German government.
The OECD convention also prescribes the suspension of any corporation that is involved in international bribery from any additional international transactions, which involve "government advantages". Thyssenkrupp was previously involved in international bribery, and the Israeli submarine deal involves German government subsidy. Therefore, the deal should not have been permitted from the beginning.
The OECD convention also prescribes the suspension of any transaction, where there is credible evidence of bribery - even prior to prosecution and conviction of those involved. In the case of the Israeli submarine deal, the Israel Police has recently forwarded its recommendations for prosecution. Therefore, the German government should suspend the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal without further delay.
The clear impression, also openly stated by CDU Member of Bundestag Roderich Kiesewetter - that under no circumstances would the deal be called off by the German government. The likely explanation is the German sensitivity, given the special relationship with Israel. However, such conduct transforms the special relationship with Israel into a liability. The Israeli justice system is unable to address the corruption in this case, as long as the Thyssenkrupp deal in in place...
READ MORE: https://inproperinla.blogspot.com/2018/11/2018-11-27-thyssenkrupp-submarine-deal.html
2018-11-27 Calling upon the German government to comply with the OECD Convention against Bribery, United Nations Convention against Corruption, and German Federal law in the Thyssenkrupp scandal
Today, we are standing here again, in front of the German embassy:
- We are calling upon he Hon Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Hon Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Katarina Barley to comply with the OECD Convention against Bribery, United Nations Convention against Corruption and German Federal law in the Thyssenkrupp submarine scandal.
- We are calling upon the Hon Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Hon Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Katarina Barley to immediately act upon the “no corruption” provision in the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding and immediately suspend the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal with Israel.
Last week, I described the scandal from the Israeli side: a law and justice system that is incompetent and/or corrupt, and unable for 20 years to deal with the corruption of senior state officials, in particular Prime Minister Netanyahu. Under such circumstances, I explained that the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal is a poison pill for the justice system and democratic institutions in Israel.
This week, I would like to focus on German side - obligations to comply with the OECD anti Bribery Convention and German Federal law.
1) The 1997 OECD Convention
The Convention is described by the OECD as follows:
The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention establishes legally binding standards to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions... It is the first and only international anti-corruption instrument focused on the ‘supply side’ of the bribery transaction.
The Convention prescribes that each Party vigilantly act to investigate and hold accountable individuals and corporations, who engage in the bribery of foreign public officials.
2) The 1999 German Federal law
German law, implementing the OECD anti bribery Convention went into effect in 1999.
3) The 2009 OECD Recommendations
Upon the 10th anniversary of the Convention, OECD Member states adopted further Recommendations in order to reinforce the Convention.
The Recommendations are uniquely relevant to the case of Tyssenkrupp. The Recommendations say that:
i) Member countries should suspend enterprises, which are determined to have bribed foreign public officials from participating in public contracts or other public advantages, including public procurement contracts…
According to this clause, it is arguable that Thyssenkrupp should not have been allowed to enter the deal with Israel in the first place. After all, Thyssenkrupp had been involved in similar scandals with South Africa and Turkey even before the Israeli scandal...
ii) ...Member countries should require anti-corruption provisions in bilateral aid-funded procurement…
Indeed, the Hon Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted upon inclusion of a “no corruption” provision in the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal with Israel.
Annex I to the Recommendations specifically speaks about circumstances such as we face today in the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal with Israel:
- ...Member countries’ systems... should not restrict the liability to cases where the natural person or persons who perpetrated the offense are prosecuted or convicted.This is exactly the case with Thyssenkrupp at this point in time. There is plenty of evidence of bribing by Thyssenkrupp in Israel, but the corporations and individuals in it have not been prosecuted or convicted...
- Member countries should be vigilant in ensuring that investigations and prosecutions of the bribery... are not influenced by considerations of national economic interest, the potential effect upon relations with another State…
Again, this is uniquely relevant to the Thyssenkrupp scandal. It appears that the German government is influence by considerations, related to the special relationship with Israel. However, as explained last week, such conduct ends up hurting the true interests and security of the State of Israel..
What does OEDC say about Israeli compliance?
OECD reports routinely express concerns regarding Israel’s compliance with the Convention and competence of Israeli law and justice agencies regarding corruption and bribery.
What does OECD say about German compliance?
Germany is among the highest enforcers of the Anti-Bribery Convention… [Germany is commended] for its focus on holding culpable individuals liable… Germany has demonstrated its ability to detect foreign bribery allegations via a range of sources. Germany is one of the few Parties to the Convention to have regularly uncovered foreign bribery cases through its tax authorities who play a pivotal role in this regard.
Earlier this month, the Israel Police has forwarded its recommendations for prosecuting a series of PM Netanyahu’s confidants and in this scandal. I would like to emphasize in particular the recommendations regarding Attorney David Shimron:
- David Shimron is at a relative of PM Netanyahu, a cousin, who had close relationship with Netanyahu since their youth. Shimron is also Netanyahu’s personal and family counsel. Shimron is also one, who acted in various official and semi official State capacities by lawful, or unlawful authority.
- Only in January 2017, following eruption of the Thyssenkrupp scandal, did Attorney General Mandelblit find it necessary to draft a Conflict of Interest Agreement for Shimron, relative to his private and public activities on behalf of Netanyahu and his family.
What does the German press say?
Earlier this month, the Handelsblatt, the leading German business newspaper, has published a report on the Thyssenkrupp Israeli submarine scandal:
Israeli… Police allege six suspects are guilty of money laundering and bribery, after a two-year investigation...
The long-running investigation reaches directly into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s entourage... David Schimron, Netanyahu’s cousin and personal lawyer, is implicated...
Much of the evidence is derived from ThyssenKrupp’s middleman, Miki Ganor, who turned state’s witness in exchange for a lesser sentence. Ganor is a confidant of Schimron...
...Israel’s military leadership was against the purchase, saying the country does not need new submarines, but Mr. Netanyahu apparently pushed the deal through.
The German government will pay a third of the sum for the subs... but only if bribery charges are cleared. As taxpayer funds are involved, all sides have to look into allegations of corruption very carefully...
The Thyssenkrupp shipbuilding division has already implicated in bribery in South Africa and Turkey...
What does UK press say?
The Defence Chronicle reports on the Thyssenkrupp Israeli submarine scandal under a funny title:
What does Israeli press say?
Earlier this month, media reported that the Shimron law firm has removed any mention of PM Netanyahu from their web page. Until then, the tight relationship between the law firm and the PM had been prominently advertised.
A few days ago, Ynet published an alarming report:
- Ynet repeated the generally held opinion in Israel - that the Israeli investigation into the Thyssenkrupp scandal was whitewashed because of concerns that Germany would call off the deal, based on the 2017 “no corruption” provision.
- More alarming, the Ynet report cited CDU Member of Bundestag Roderich Kiesewetter - that under no circumstances would the deal be called off by the German government!
Such statement by Kiesewetter appears to contradict the OECD Anti Bribery Convention, the UN Anti corruption Convention, and German Federal Law.
Following the Ynet publication, former PM Ehud Barak posted a Twitter note to AG Mandelblit:
Mandelblit, wake up! Immediately investigate Netanyahu for breach of trust… Do not collude in treason and cover-up!
Needless to emphasize the seriousness of such accusations by a former PM against an AG and a PM now in office!
- We are calling upon he Hon Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Hon Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Katarina Barley to ensure that Thyssenkrupp is vigorously investigated relative to the Israeli submarine deal, in compliance with the OECD Convention against Bribery, United Nations Convention against Corruption, and German Federal Law.
- We are calling upon the Hon Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Hon Justice and Consumer Protection Minister Katarina Barley to take into consideration the outcome of the Israel Police investigation, particularly pertaining to a) State witness, Miki Ganor – the Thyssenkrupp middleman, and b) Netanyahu’s relative and personal counsel David Shimron - who at times also acted in official capacities, with or without lawful authority.Therefore, pursuant to the OECD Anti bribery Convention, the 2017 “no corruption” provision should be acted upon, and the Thyssenkrupp submarine deal with Israel should be immediately suspended.