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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Breaking: Olmert indicted

Former Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert has been indicted in three different corruption affairs: The Rishon Olmert Tours affair, in which he is charged with taking multiple payments for speaking engagements abroad; the Talansky affair, in which he is charged with accepting cash envelopes from Moshe (Morris) Talansky; and the Investment Center affair, in which he is charged with arranging investment center grants for friends while he was Minister of Industry and Trade.
The former prime minister has now been charged with accepting cash envelopes from American businessman Morris Talansky.

He is also suspected of illegally double-billing charities and a government ministry for the same flights he booked through Rishon Tours, sending them falsified receipts for travel expenses and using the surplus to finance personal and family trips abroad.

The Investments Center affair, which was first reported in Haaretz, concerned allegations that Olmert granted personal favors to his old law partner, Uri Messer, who was acting on behalf of a company, an act which would constitute a conflict of interest, breach of trust, and fraud.

The attorney general had earlier this summer decided to close a number of corruption cases against Olmert. In the most recent case, Mazuz cited lack of evidence over allegations that Olmert accepted some NIS 1 million in bribes in exchange for assisting the Laniado Hospital in Netanya.

The Laniado affair was the third case against Olmert to be dropped. The first closed was the Bank Leumi affair, in which Olmert was suspected of trying to help his friend, Australian real-estate magnate Frank Lowy, buy the controlling shares in Bank Leumi. Olmert, who was acting finance minister in 2005, was suspected of trying to change the tender conditions for buying the bank.

Late last month, Mazuz decided to close a separate corruption case against Olmert, involving the purchase of a home on Cremieux Street in Jerusalem. In that case as well, the attorney general cited lack of evidence.
And you thought your government was corrupt?


YNet adds:
This is the first time in Israel's history that a former PM will face a criminal indictment.


Olmert and his defense team are said to be planning to launch a PR campaign, meant to convince the public that the allegations against him are unfounded.
You didn't think he would offer a substantive defense, did you?


At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Book 'im, Manno!

At 9:03 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ehud Olmert's misdeeds have caught up with him. I see his attorneys are offering a procedural defense. That is his right. But if he was blameless, it would be easy enough to refute the allegations leveled against him.

At 11:45 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

It took them 6 years to indict Olmert. Why does Obama think that the current government will fail in Sept. due to the same type of scandal? Wishful thinking?

At 11:46 PM, Blogger Findalis said...


At 12:24 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

I'm trying to find a $$ figure for the amount that has been investigated. Admiration goes out to Israel for pursuing it, regardless of the amount. That said, it will be interesting to see a comparison of the $$ amount that Olmert will be prosecuted for and compare it to the $$ amount that Richardson has just been let off the hook for... In the case of New Mexico, one of the smallest states in population and resources (about state 49-50 in poverty measures), the amounts are in the multi-$millions. And they don't seem to even have started looking at the massive freeway project going on now. They did manage to put one long-time participant in jail, but not the biggest fish. So good for you, Israel! Carry on! You'll be better off for it.


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