Olmert probe 'probably' over - Israel News, Ynetnews
 
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The End?

Detectives arrive at PM's Residence Photo: Gil Yohanan
Detectives arrive at PM's Residence Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Olmert probe 'probably' over

After 16 visits to the Prime Minister's Residence for investigations on political appointment, Cremieux Street apartment affairs, National Fraud Investigation Unit detectives brief attorney general, Investigations and Intelligence Unit head on findings. Law enforcement official tells Ynet no more inquiries scheduled as of yet

Efrat Weiss
Published: 02.27.09, 15:45 / Israel News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's 16th, and probably last investigation ended Friday afternoon, after three-and-a-half hours of questioning.

 

The National Fraud Investigation Unit detectives left the Prime Minister's Residence, to brief Investigations and Intelligence Unit head Major-General Yoav Segalovich and Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on their findings.

 

Friday morning, as in previous weeks, the detectives arrived at Olmert's Residence for questioning, and this time focused on the Cremieux Street apartment affair, in which the PM is accused of receiving an illicit discount on the Jerusalem real estate.

 

In recent weeks, investigators have been focusing their inquiry mainly on Olmert's political appointments affair, in which he is suspected of appointing a series of Likud Central Committee members to different positions the Small Businesses Authority during his tenure as industry, trade and labor minister.

 

Law enforcement officials told Ynet that Friday's investigation would probably be the prime minister's last.

 

A few months ago, the prime minister requested a number of meetings be set up with the detectives, in order to bring about an end to the investigations. The meetings were held as scheduled, and as of Friday, no more were planned for the time being.

 

Decisions made in other affairs

Decisions have already been made in the two other affairs Olmert was investigated for.

 

In the Rishon Tours affair, that entails allegations that Olmert was double and triple-billing trips abroad sponsored by Jewish institutions, and either pocketed the difference or financed trips for relatives, the attorney general said he planned to file an indictment against the PM pending a hearing.

 

The charges Olmert may face are fraud, breach of trust, falsifying corporate records, failure to report an income and receiving illegal benefits, to which an aggravated circumstances clause applies.

 

Shula Zaken, Olmert's former bureau chief, who was also implicated in the affair, was said to have received similar notification of pending indictment.

 

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador decided in December to close the Bank Leumi case against the prime minister.

 

The affair centered on suspicions that during his time aslocum tenens for the finance minister in Ariel Sharon's government, Olmert used his influence to make sure an Australian businessman, Frank Louie, won the bank's privatization tender.

 

After a lengthy investigation, the police recommended the case be closed.

 

"The manner in which Olmert conducted himself in this case, according to the evidence gathered, indicate that his actual involvement in the events was minor," said Lador's final brief, adding that the evidence at hand fail to substantiate any of the suspicions in the case.

 

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