Olmert suspected of accepting cash bribes
Photo: AP
Olmert associates: Syria talks not a spin
Photo: Reuters

Investigators confront Olmert with new evidence

Police team arrives at prime minister's Jerusalem residence for questioning session; during interrogation, investigators expected to present new evidence; PM's associates: He'll cooperate with police

Police investigators arrived at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Jerusalem residence at 9 am Friday for yet another questioning session in connection with the bribery probe against the PM.


Investigators were expected to confront the prime minister with new evidence accumulated during the recent interrogations of Olmert's close associate Uri Messer and businessman Moshe (Morris) Talansky.


According to official sources, the new evidence incriminates Olmert, who is expected to face at least one more interrogation following Friday's questioning session.


A senior official at Olmert's office told Ynet that "the prime minister will continue to act in line with the law and cooperate with his investigators and with the Israel police." The source said Olmert has complete faith in investigators and is certain that police will make an effort to uncover the truth.


"The prime minister is certain of his innocence," the official said.


Olmert associates: Syria talks no spin

Meanwhile, Olmert's associates dismissed charges that the prime minister publicized the renewal of peace talks with Syria in order to divert attention away from the latest probe.


"The prime minister dedicated the entire week to managing the affairs of the country, headed by the Syrian issue," one Olmert associate said. "The prime minister is being blamed for initiating a spin that delayed the interrogation, but people forget that the probe could have disrupted a much more important diplomatic matter."


Olmert's associates also noted that decisions on the Gaza front are expected to be taken next week.


"It will be a difficult political week," one source said. "The country's helm is in trusted hands. The prime minister does not allow the probe or his medical problems to interfere with his work."


Also on Friday, the Jerusalem District Court has convened to discuss Olmert's attorneys' request to postpone key witness Talansky's pre-trial deposition. At this time, Talansky is expected to testify on Sunday.


The court's president, Judge Mussia Arad, approached the attorneys involved in the probe and asked that they reach an agreement regarding a date for Talansky’s preliminary testimony.


The request was directed at State Prosecutor Moshe Lador, Olmert's attorneys Eli Zohar and Roee Blecher, Shula Zaken’s attorney Micha Pittman Talansky’s attorney Chen Zak.


Roni Sofer contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 05.23.08, 00:15
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