November 14, 2017 - 11:46 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Police have opened a criminal investigation against an Israeli drone manufacturer that allegedly attempted to bomb the Armenian military in Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) on behalf of Azerbaijan during a demonstration of one of their unmanned aerial vehicles earlier this year, The Times of Israel reports.
“An investigation is ongoing against Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. in regards to a deal with a significant customer,” police said in a statement Tuesday, November 14.
The Israel Police’s Unit of International Crime Investigations, known in Hebrew by its acronym Yahbal, is leading the investigation.
News of the investigation came out on Monday as an Israeli court approved a gag order for the case, limiting the information that can be published about it.
For instance, police would not identify the “significant customer”.
According to Aeronautics, the company was poised to make a NIS 71.5 million ($20 million) deal over the next two years with the “significant customer”.
“The company is working to clarify the issue with the Defense Ministry,” Aeronautics said in its statement at the time.
The company noted that the Defense Ministry’s decision only affected the sale of its drone to the “significant customer” and not to other foreign buyers.
As a rule, Israeli defense contractors refrain from naming their customers directly. However, it could be understood from the statement that the country in question was Azerbaijan.
The decision to halt the sale came approximately two weeks after a complaint was filed with the ministry saying that the company had, at the request of the Azeris, launched one of its Orbiter 1K model drones at Armenian forces in Karabakh.