National Fraud Unit investigators in court
Photo: Dudu Azoulay
Holyland project in Jerusalem
Photo: Noam Moskowitz
Police chief Cohen. Briefed on affair
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Police: Holyland affair only tip of iceberg

Investigators probing new scandal involving former Prime Minister Olmert's associate Uri Messer to question senior public figures in coming days. Prosecutor in Olmert trial to explain to court about linkage between various affairs on Thursday morning

The suspicions in the new corruption affair involving former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's associate, Attorney Uri Messer, is only the "tip of the iceberg", police officials told Ynet on Wednesday night.


The investigation is expected to continue next week, and the next move "will be even bigger," the officials said.


Attorney Messer was arrested Tuesday along with four other officials whose houses were searched by the police. Messer is currently serving as a witness for the prosecution in two of the affairs Olmert has been indicted for.


The new investigation focuses on suspicions of bribery in exchange for advancing real estate projects in the capital, including the Holyland housing project in southwest Jerusalem. Senior public officials linked to the affair are expected to be questioned in the coming days.


State Prosecutor Moshe Lador will be making the decision in the affair, as Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein must avoid dealing with this case.


A senior official in the law enforcement system told Ynet on Wednesday, "Although Weinstein is familiar with the details, the final decision on the matter, once the affair reaches the State Prosecutor's Office, will be made by Lador and not by AG Weinstein, who must avoid making a decision on the matter."

Holyland project. Next move 'will be even bigger' (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)


The National Fraud Unit has been working on the affair over the past week, while Israelis were celebrating the holiday of Passover. Dozens of investigators were called in to prepare the last documents before the affair was cleared for publication.


Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen was briefed on the details of the affair. A gag order has been placed on many of the details.


"We must remember that this investigation was launched following new information received," a senior police source explained. Naturally, such investigations rely on people who have agreed to talk and who don't know a thing about the offenses committed.


The Jerusalem District Court will discuss on Thursday a request made by Jerusalem District Prosecutor Eli Abarbanel to reverse the order of testimonies in the Olmert trial and to begin with the double-billing affair instead of the Investment Center and Talansky affairs. Abarbanel is expected to explain to the court the connection between the new affair and the former prime minister's trial.


פרסום ראשון: 04.08.10, 01:07
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