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Holyland witness testifies Photo: Ofer Amram
Holyland witness testifies Photo: Ofer Amram
 
 

Holyland case: State's witness fails to implicate Olmert

Defense attempts to debunk prosecution's star witness' testimony in corruption case pending against former PM

Naama Cohen-Friedman
Published: 02.24.13, 13:42 / Israel News

The Tel Aviv District Court held a hearing on the Holyland corruption case pending against former PM Ehud Olmert on Sunday.

 

The indictment filed in the case focuses on the alleged bribes paid to Olmert, former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski, former Bank Hapoalim CEO Dan Dankner and 13 other defendants, to promote a Jerusalem construction project bearing the same name.

 

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In a dramatic turn of events, the Defense made a play to debunk the State's accusations against Olmert by presenting evidence suggesting that the State's star witness in the case failed to implicate Olmert in any wrongdoing.

 

Much of the State's case relies on a list recalled by the witness, which he allegedly wrote as events in the Holyland project were unfolding, and which names the people who accepted bribes.

 

The defense entered the list into evidence, clearly showing that the former prime minister was not on it.

 

Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken's name was also missing from the list. She too was indicted in the case, based on the witness' testimony.

 

 

Notebook presented as case evidence

 

When asked by the defense who was the most prominent figure bribed in the case, the witness answered "Ehud Olmert" without hesitation, further saying that it would be in his notes.

 

The defense then confronted him with the actual list. The witness then said that while he recognized his hand writing on the papers presented to the court, he had "no recollection" of when he made the list, or where the page in question was taken from.

 

"If you have my notebook then someone must have stolen it from me," he retorted at the defense.

 

Amir Dan, Olmert's communications advisor said that "It is regrettable that the State rushed into a state witness deal without performing the necessary due diligence and without checking the facts.

 

"The very simple fact is that the State Prosecutor's Office was duped by their witness."

 

 

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