Greek authorities probe plane crash that killed witness in Netanyahu trial

14 September 2021, 11:44

Emergency services
Greece Israel Plane. Picture: PA

Haim Geron, a former senior official at Israel’s ministry of communications, and his wife Esther were killed in the crash off Samos.

Greek authorities are investigating a private plane crash that killed a prosecution witness in the corruption trial of former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Haim Geron, a former senior official at Israel’s ministry of communications, and his wife Esther were killed in the crash on Monday off the island of Samos.

The Israeli foreign ministry identified the victims, both aged 69, adding that consular officials and the ministry are working with the family to return the bodies.

Mr Geron was one of more than 300 witnesses that prosecutors listed for Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges.

Greece coast guard
The coast guard recovered the two bodies (AP)

He is accused of accepting expensive gifts from wealthy associates, allegations he denies.

Greece’s air accident investigation and aviation board is investigating the causes of the crash, officials said.

The single-engine Cessna 182 took off from Haifa, Israel, and crashed near Samos Airport.

“Shortly before landing, communication with the control tower on Samos was lost and the Civil Aviation Authority informed the search and rescue centre about the loss of communication,” the authority said in a statement.

The bodies of the two Israeli occupants were recovered by the coast guard several hours later, with the help of divers.

Netanyahu, now the opposition leader in Israel’s parliament, has denied all the accusations and mocked the size of the witness list.

By Press Association