The High Court accepted on Friday former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's
petition to postpone a hearing on the charges in the "Rishon Tours"
double-billing affair before a possible indictment.
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz originally scheduled the hearing for April 19 and 27, but Justice Miriam Naor ruled that the hearing will be held no earlier than May 10 in order to give Olmert ample time to fly abroad for treatment of prostate cancer.
Other corruption cases againt Olmert:
The former premier's petition
cited the opinions of leading physicians saying he must seek immediate treatment for his illness.
Apart from the health issue, Olmert's attorneys said the hearing should not take place before Mazuz announces his decision on all three affairs in which the former PM is being investigated.
The lawyers further emphasized that there was no need to insist on such a close date since Olmert is no longer a public figure but rather a private citizen now, and as such there is no reason to insist on expediting the investigation process.
Additionally, Olmert explained in the petition that new information came to light in two out of three investigations against him and that, since the three cases are by Mazuz's own admissions related, the State Prosecutor's Office needs to study the new information.
In response to the petition, the State Prosecutor's Office said Olmert had enough time to prepare for the hearing and his medical situation does not justify a delay.
The State stressed that the original notice was given five months ago. "The former prime minister's legal team was made privy to the materials in the case in due time. We are sympathetic to Mr. Olmert's condition and wish him good health and a speedy recovery, but there is no justification to postpone the hearings," said the State's brief.