The State Comptroller's office is once again investigating Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, this time to determine whether he provided financial grants to associates during his tenure as Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor.
To start, they are checking the ministry's investment records to verify a suspicion that Likud party member Rami Ben Sushan, who owns a factory in northern Israel, received grants amounting to NIS 7.5 million (USD 1.8 million) during Olmert's time as minister, Israel's Channel 10 reported Monday.
The prime minister himself told law enforcement officials, "don't stop investigating, don't stop trying to fix the world we live in. Do this cleanly, examining the circumstances, pure of any poisonous atmosphere. And we, members of Knesset, will continue to defend democracy and the law."
The State Comptroller's Office has already investigated a number of Olmert-related affairs, including the purchase of a home in Cremieux Street in Jerusalem, involvement in the privatization of Bank Leumi, and incidents involving the Small Businesses Authority.
The Cremieux Street investigation examined claims according to which Olmert bought an apartment for a reduced price of NIS 320,000 (USD 75,000) from the Alumot real estate company during his tenure as Industry, Trade and Labor Minister, in exchange for accelerating the building project.
The Bank Leumi investigation checked claims that Olmert, along with additional parties, allegedly committed criminal bribery offenses during the sale of the majority shares in Bank Leumi in 2005.
Allegations in this case claimed that Olmert, who was Minister of Finance at the time, apparently broke the law for two of his friends – Daniel Abrams and Frank Louie – with whom he conducted, directly and indirectly, a relationship which allegedly involved bribe.
The Small Businesses Authority probe addressed suspicions that Olmert, again in the capacity of Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor made a number of politically motivated appointments in the Authority.
The findings from all three of these investigations were transferred to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.