Two years after being exposed, the State Prosecutor's Office on Thursday will file indictments with the Tel Aviv District Court against suspects involved in the Holyland affair.
According to a statement issued by the prosecution, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will
be charged with taking a bribe. Additional indictments will be filed against Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken and former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski.
Olmert's communications director issued a statement claiming that the indictment was scandalous and based on pure fiction. He further claimed it was an attempt to influence the court which is currently discussing political appointments charges against Olmert.
"The indictment was filed without allowing Olmert to exercise his basic right for a hearing," it was claimed. "Olmert has stated in the clearest of terms he never accepted bribes and the indictment will not change that fact."
The Holyland affair, which was first exposed almost two years ago, concerns bribes allegedly handed to state officials in exchange for the promotion of construction of various housing projects, including the Holyland complex in Jerusalem and other projects in Manara and central Israel.
Olmert and Shula Zaken (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
It is suspected that businessman Hillel Cherny, one of the owners of the land, bribed a number of state officials, including Olmert, with millions of shekels between the years 1994-2007, in order to promote the projects.