View Full Version : Olmert Faces 2 More Police Probes

10-16-2007, 07:10 AM
Olmert faces 2 more police probes
Two new criminal investigations opened against prime minister over alleged acts of misconduct during his tenure as labor minister, in addition to ongoing investigations in Bank Leumi, Cremieux affairs


Aviram Zino
Latest Update: 10.15.07, 00:12 / Israel News

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Sunday ordered police to launch two separate criminal investigations against Prime Minster Ehud Olmert to determine possible illegalities in the investment center case and illicit appointments in the Small and Medium Enterprises Authority.

Olmert is accused of appointing several unqualified Likud Central Committee members to key positions in various businesses for politically motivated reasons during his tenure as minister of industry, trade and labor.

Olmert has already been investigated twice for allegations of impropriety in the privatization of Bank Leumi. He is also under investigation for his involvement in an alleged real estate scam in Jerusalem.

Olmert's associates responded to the attorney general's decision, saying that "these investigations are unnecessary.

"It is clear beyond any doubt that these investigations will end with nothing, and today's decision will lead to that in practice," the Prime Minister's Office added.

Olmert: Accusers 'seeking headlines'
In April 2007 State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss issued a scathing report regarding Olmert's alleged conflict of interests in the investment center case. In his report Lindenstrauss asserted that Olmert had operated to promote the private interests of Uri Messer, a personal friend to Olmert as well as his former business partner.

Olmert's office categorically rejected the comptroller's conclusions and called Lindenstrauss a man interested solely in seizing headlines.

"The conduct of the comptroller in this matter, as it has been in other critical reports, has once again unfortunately broken all records of unprofessional behavior and bias," the prime minister's office said at the time.

Dichter: Police will conduct proper investigation
Most government ministers remained silent following the attorney general's decisions. Those who agreed to comment settled for neutral remarks.

Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said, "I trust the police to do their job and to operate only according to the attorney general's instructions."

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz said that he trusted "the law enforcement institutions."

Minister for Pensioner Affairs Rafi Eitan was the only one who agreed to address the question whether Olmert can continue to serve as prime minister, saying that "he definitely must not suspend himself."

Knesset Member Yoel Hasson (Kadima), the acting coalition chairman, said, "I hope all the investigations into the prime minister's affairs will be completed quickly. After all, we have a country to run here and we would all benefit from a swift process with clear conclusions."