JERUSALEM, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Israel's State Attorney has ordered that a criminal investigation be opened into the awarding of a maritime procurement contract, the Justice Ministry said on Monday.
"The decision to move ... to a criminal probe in the 'ships affair' was taken following information gathered by police in the past few months and the evidence that has raised reasonable suspicions against some of those involved," part of the Justice Ministry statement said.
The Justice Ministry did not name any suspects but emphasised that there was no evidence that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was involved.
Israeli media has named Netanyahu's personal lawyer, David Shimron, who has denied any impropriety, as one of the suspects involved in the purchase of ships and submarines from German firm ThyssenKrupp. (Writing by Ori Lewis, editing by Larry King)