Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was questioned under caution Friday morning for the second time in a month in connection with the bribery probe recently launched against him. A law enforcement official told Ynet that the latest questioning session “will have great influence on the case".
A National Fraud Unit investigation team arrived at the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence at around 9 am. Police officials later said Olmert cooperated with the investigators.
The Jerusalem District Court simultaneously discussed the appeal submitted by Olmert’s attorneys to postpone the pre-trial deposition of key witness Morris Talansky, and determined that the testimony will be heard this coming Tuesday at 9 am, this after State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and Olmert's attorneys failed to reach an agreement on the matter.
Olmert’s interrogation began shortly after 10 am and lasted an hour. The investigators headed by Deputy Inspector General Shlomi Ayalon, confronted Olmert with the new evidence gathered since his last interrogation as well as during the questioning of his associate Attorney Uri Messer and Talansky.
Messer was questioned Thursday at the National Fraud Unit and according to investigation officials, has reinforced Talansky’s testimony and cooperated with the investigators.
Law enforcement officials told Ynet that Olmert was asked to answer a few significant questions in the investigation, such as how much money did he receive from Talansky, what was done with the money, who handled the donations he received, and why weren’t the money transfers reported to the tax authorities. The estimation is that Olmert will have to be questioned on the affair at least one more time.
The investigators left the prime minister’s residence on their way to the Police National Headquarters, where they met with the Head of Police Investigations and Intelligence Commander Yohanan Danino and Brigadier General Yoav Segalovitch.
Right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir protested outside Olmert’s residence, carrying signage saying: “Olmert, don’t steal the Golan” and “Go home, thief.”
Early this month, Olmert was questioned for the first time on the affair by the National Fraud Unit at his Jerusalem home.
Last Wednesday, a new aspect of the affair was revealed when the gag order had been fully removed. The details disclosed show that some of the money transferred to Olmert by Talansky over the years had been used to fund Olmert’s personal trips abroad.