Cessna
© Wikimedia Commons
A Cessna 172 aircraft (illustrative). Haim Garon, a former deputy director at the Communications Ministry, was a prosecution witness in the Netanyahu trial
One of the two people who were killed when their Israeli light aircraft crashed into the sea near the eastern Aegean island of Samos on Monday evening was to be a prosecution witness in the trial of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Haim Garon, a former deputy director of the Communications Ministry, was not considered a key witness, and his death will not prevent the case from proceeding.

The plane, a Cessna 172, reportedly departed from Israel and "encountered a problem on approach to the island's airport," crashing nearby, Greek media reported.

Garon and his wife, Esti, left on Monday afternoon on a flight from Haifa. The accident occurred at around 7:45 p.m.

"We spotted the debris of the aircraft in the sea about a mile south of the airport," a Greek coast guard official told Reuters.

It was initially unclear what the problem was, although evidence seems to suggest a technical fault with the engine, CNN reported.

Greek rescue forces located the crash site and the family has been informed. There were no other passengers on board.

Israeli consular officials in Athens and the Department for Israelis Abroad at the Foreign Ministry will assist in repatriating the couple's remains.

The most important witnesses from the Communications Ministry are Shlomo Filber and Avi Berger. Following them are several less senior ministry officials, one of whom was Garon. He was due to be called to testify in the Communications Ministry section of the trial.