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Friday, June 06, 2008

Olmert gave Hirschson cash 'spending money?'

Investigative reporter Yoav Yitzchak reported Friday that Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert gave $23,000 in cash (which was first converted into NIS 100,000 - that was the exchange rate at the time) to former Finance Minister and close Olmert pal Avraham Hirschson (link in Hebrew). The source for the report is one of the diaries of Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken. While the entry does not say when exactly the transfer took place, it was apparently during the period when both Olmert and Hirschson were serving as ministers under Ariel Sharon. Hirschson was forced to resign as finance minister several months ago and was recently indicted for stealing NIS 2.5 million from the Histadrut (General Labor Federation). But that's not even the big story.

According to Yitzchak, the police don't think that money came from Morris (Moshe) Talansky. They now believe that Talansky's money was 'petty cash' and that the 'big' money (what's referred to in Yitzchak's report as the "big fund") came from other donors aside from Talansky. According to Yitzchak (who has a history of being 'in the know' about these things, albeit not a perfect record), one of the things the police are now doing in the US is trying to track down the sources for the "big fund."

Hirschson has yet to be questioned about the matter.



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