Olmert to be probed for corruption in three distinct affairs

By Ynetnews January 9, 2007

Channel 10 reported Tuesday evening that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz plans to instruct Israel Police to launch an investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over three affairs to which he is allegedly connected.

According to the report, the decision to open a criminal investigation was made during the investigation of alleged criminal conduct in the selling of Bank Leumi’s majority shares.

Reports said that the prime minister, along with additional parties, allegedly committed criminal bribery offenses during the sale of the bank’s shares in 2005. The allegations claim that Olmert, who was Minister of Finance at the time, apparently broke the law for two of his friends — Daniel Abrams and Frank Louie — with whom he conducted, directly and indirectly, a relationship which allegedly involved bribe.

State Comptroller Justice Micha Lindenstrauss investigated the case and transferred his findings to Mazuz.

The second affair involves the prime minister’s alleged illegal political appointments in the Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority during his tenure as minister of industry, commerce, and labor.

The other allegations pertain to Olmert?s association with his confidante Attorney Uri Messer, who was a partner in the prime minister?s law firm until 1988.

Messer was one of the key figures in the affair involving Olmert?s purchase of a luxury apartment on Cremieux Street in Jerusalem. Messer allegedly conducted the business negotiations on Olmert?s behalf.

Reports said Olmert received a USD 320,000 discount on the apartment in exchange for expediting construction permits.

The Justice Ministry responded to the Channel 10 report by saying that “The ministry will not respond to any publication, news item, or speculation on this matter.”

“When the decision making process on these sensitive and complicated matters, which is still going on, is over, a clear announcement will be made to the public,” said the ministry’s announcement.

January 9, 2007 | Comments Off on Olmert to be probed for corruption in three distinct affairs

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