Ehud Olmert
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Olmert: I've never taken a bribe

Former PM says he was surprised to be linked to real estate bribery scandal in Jerusalem

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert dismissed Saturday reports linking him to the Holyland bribery affair and suggesting he may soon be detained.


Speaking to Ynet, Olmert said: "In recent days, under cover of a gag order, attempts have been made to link me to things and acts that are unconnected to me."


"This happened in respect to similar affairs in the past, where baseless serious suspicions and charges against me were disproved," he said. "This is what's happening this time too."


"As I claimed all along, and as had been proven to be absolutely true thus far, I've never taken a bribe in my life," the former PM said.


The former PM, who is currently in Spain in order to attend a soccer game, told Channel 2 earlier Saturday that he was surprised by reports that he was linked to the Holyland affair, which a judge said was among "the gravest in Israel's history."


"I traveled aboard about two weeks ago in line with a plan that was scheduled in advance many weeks ago," he said. "I heard about the reports. I must say that nobody approached me or my attorneys – even though my lawyers met with state prosecutors at court only two days ago."


The former PM, who served as Jerusalem's mayor at the time the grandiose Holyland project – which some refer to as "monstrous" – was approved, added that "I don't understand what's the commotion all about. I am of course surprised and deny any link to all the hints made about this subject."


Olmert added that he will return to Israel on the weekend as planned.


"In the event the police wish to talk to me or interrogate me they will summon me, and as I did before as a prime minister on many occasions I will of course show up and fulfill my duty," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 04.10.10, 21:44
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