Photo: Channel 10
Lador. Left up to the court to decide
Photo: Channel 10
Busted open? Olmert
Photo: AFP

Police source: Olmert gag order to be lifted soon

Publication ban on probe against PM to be lifted after details reported overseas, police source says

The gag order on the latest investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be lifted gradually in the next few days following international media reports on the case, a police source told Ynet Tuesday.


Israeli media have been allowed to publish very few details about the affair since it has become known.

However, earlier Tuesday the New York Post published new details regarding the pending investigation against Olmert.


On its website, the Post goes into many of the details which are still under embargo in Israel, due to a comprehensive gag order placed on the case.


Prior to the details' publication on the website, the Jerusalem District Court cleared for publication the fact that a material witness order has been issued in order to depose the foreign national involved in the case, prior to deciding on an indictment.


Considered an unusual legal maneuver, deposing a witness at this stage of the investigation is usually done when there is a substantial chance the witness would not be able to appear in court during trial. In Olmert's case, the man in question – who is not an Israeli citizen – may wish to return to the US.


Meanwhile, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador commented on the case for the first time Tuesday: "This proceeding is part of routine procedure when in comes to cases like this," he said.


Lador spoke to reporters upon leaving a hearing regarding the possible retraction of the gag order, held in the Jerusalem District Court.


"This case deals with suspicions against a presiding prime minister. It was only right that I sit in on the hearing. There's no need to make too much of it," he said.


Lador went on to say that it was unlikely the gag order would be lifted before Israel marked its 60th Independence Day on Thursday.


"On one hand, we know the gag order does some substantial damage. On the other hand, our position in the matter can very well be construed as if we were trying to hinder the investigation. That's why it was left up to the court to decide."


Efrat Weiss, Roni Sofer, and Aviram Zino contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 05.06.08, 14:01
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