Greece investigates plane crash that killed Ex Israeli PM Netanyahu corruption witness
Israel has confirmed that the man killed in a private plane crash in Greece was a witness in former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial, while Greek authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.
According to the report, Ioannis Kondylis, a senior Greek air safety official, said a fisherman who witnessed the incident near the island of Samos claimed to have heard two explosions, but the cause of the crash is still unknown.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry identified the 69-year-old couple as Haim Geron and Esther from Tel Aviv.
The Israeli prosecutor’s office said Haim Geron, a former deputy director of the communications ministry, was scheduled to testify in the case in which Netanyahu was nominated.
One of the many allegations against Netanyahu is that he paid regulatory benefits to the big media in return for his favourable coverage.
Haim Geron was to testify that the former prime minister had negotiated with telecommunications firms to formulate policies that would benefit the company in exchange for safe and positive coverage.
The Greek Civil Aviation Agency said the four-seater plane, which had taken off from Haifa on a private flight, had disappeared from radar shortly before landing at Samos Island airport.
A team of experts will travel to Samos on Wednesday to inspect the wreckage, said Lonis Condelles, head of the state air crash investigation and aviation safety board.
“The fisherman said there was a big explosion and then a small explosion,” he said.
“If that happened then it would be visible from the debris 33 meters (108 feet) below the water,” he said.
The site of the wreckage is two kilometres (1.2 miles) south of the airport, said Ioannis Kondylis.
He hoped that the cause of the crash would become clearer in the next two weeks.
According to the international news agency, Netanyahu is accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases.
Case 1,000: Fraud and breach of trust: he is accused of receiving gifts such as cigars and bottles of champagne from powerful businessmen in exchange for favours
Case 2,000: Fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of offering to help improve the circulation of Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot for positive coverage
Case 4,000: Bribery, fraud and breach of trust: Mr Netanyahu is accused of promoting regulatory decisions favourable to the controlling shareholder in the Bezeq telecom giant, Shaul Elovitch, in exchange for positive coverage by Mr Elovitch’s Walla news site.
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