Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel's state attorney's office said Thursday that it intends to indict several of Netanyahu's close associates. File photo: Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP.

Tel Aviv - Israel's state attorney's office said Thursday that it intends to indict several of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's close associates in a bribery scandal involving German submarines.

The office of Shai Nitzan said that it intends to press charges against Netanyahu's personal attorney and distant relative, David Shimron, as well as businessman Miki Ganor and former Netanyahu aide David Sharan, among four others, pending a hearing for all of them.

Shimron is facing charges of money laundering, while Ganor and Sharan are facing bribery charges, according to a statement from the office.

Former deputy chief of staff of Israel's National Security Department, Avriel Bar Josef, whom police had earlier said there was evidence against, was named in the statement but not facing charges.

Netanyahu was questioned in this case, known in the Israeli media as Case 3000 and the "submarine affair," but not as a suspect.

Last month, the attorney general announced Netanyahu would be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases.

In October 2016, Netanyahu signed a multibillion-dollar framework agreement to acquire three submarines and naval vessels from German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp, against the opinion of then-defence minister Moshe Yaalon and others in the defence establishment.

The case first made headlines when it was revealed that Shimron was contracted by the Israeli representative of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS). Shimron is not only Netanyahu's lawyer, but also a lawyer for Ganor, who was a TKMS distributor and stood to receive a million-dollar commission from the deal.

Ganor is now one of the key witnesses in the case.

Police suspect that Shimron used his connections to Netanyahu to advance the deal, and that he received around 73,000 dollars for "opening doors." Shimron previously denied the allegations.

Although the German government green-lighted the deal last year, the submarines cannot be delivered until the corruption investigation has been concluded.

dpa