Photo: Meir Ochayon
'Identifies suspicions of crimes.' Micha Lindenstrauss
Photo: Meir Ochayon
Photo: AP
Illegal appointments. PM Ehud Olmert
Photo: AP

Comptroller: Probe Olmert for illegal appointments

State comptroller recommends PM Olmert be investigated for illegally appointing Likud cronies to ministerial posts during tenure as Industry, Trade and Labor Minister; Attorney General Mazuz to decide on course of action

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss advised Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to launch a criminal investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for suspicions that he appointed Likud cronies to ministerial posts as Industry, Trade and Labor Minister.


In a letter sent to Mazuz, Lindenstrauss wrote that he "identifies suspicions of crimes" in a report on Olmert's tenure in the ministry.


Olmert is suspected of having appointed cronies to the posts in the Israel Small and Medium Enterprises Authority.


Mazuz is expected to rule whether to indict Olmert within weeks after reviewing the evidence piled by the State Comptroller's Office.


According to Prof. Emmanuel Gross, an expert in criminal and constitutional law, "the information in the comptroller's possession...justifies his suggestion to Mazuz to begin investigative procedures," he said.


Last Monday, Lindenstrauss issued a report in which he criticized Olmert for having authorized illegal appointments during his three-year tenure as Industry, Trade and Labor minister under former prime minister Ariel Sharon.


The report also notes illegal conducts by the ministry's former director-general and the current Director-General of the Prime Minister's Office, Raanan Dinur.


"The inspection findings raise the fear that the authority served as a convenient route for political appointments of people affiliated with the party of former Trade, Industry and Labor Minister Ehud Olmert.


The authority operated while ignoring the norms of the public law, issuing projects in which employees recruited in an improper and unequal process were employed, with their only apparent quality being their association with the minister's party," read the report.


Responding to the report, Dinur said his ministry implemented a series of changes to allow the authority to work "properly and effectively."


Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said in response to the comptroller's statements that since Lindenstrauss first published the report he did not approach the Office in order to receive additional information.


Olmert's aides told Ynet that "in any case we prefer that Mazuz, and not Lindenstrauss, probes this matter." They also noted that since the argument surrounding the establishment of the commissions to investigate the war first broke out, "the comptroller has been behaving as if he he'd been insulted."


Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 09.03.06, 21:18
 new comment
This will delete your current comment