'Never taken a bribe.' Olmert
Photo: Gil Yohanan
New evidence. Messer
Photo: Dudi Azoulay

Olmert's attorney: Will he be interrogated?

Former PM's attorney tells Jerusalem district prosecutor his client will be available for questioning upon his expected return to Israel this weekend. Court extends Attorney Messer's remand in light of new evidence in 'Holyland' affair

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's attorney sent a letter to Jerusalem District Prosecutor Eli Abarbanel saying that his client has agreed to be interrogated upon his return to Israel should he be asked to do so, Ynet reported on Sunday.


"Mr. Olmert will attend any questioning session, as he has done many times in the past. I would appreciate it if you would schedule any interrogation in advance, as was the case in the past," Attorney Eli Zohar wrote amid reports that Olmert is expected to be questioned.


"Over the past few days Olmert's name has been mentioned in extensive reports regarding the police investigation. Olmert vehemently rejects the indirect allegations against him that were leaked to the press," the letter read.


Attorney Zohar further wrote, "We have not been informed of any need or intent to investigate Mr. Olmert. I have been asked to inform you that Olmert is due back in Israel this weekend."


Also on Sunday, the Rishon Lezion Magistrates' Court granted the police's request to extend the remand of Olmert's long-time confidante Uri Messer by five days.


Messer was arrested last week on suspicion of serving as an intermediary in the alleged bribery scheme involving the "Holyland" residence project in Jerusalem, which was promoted during Olmert's decade-long tenure as the city's mayor.


Police initially considered releasing Messer to house arrest, but decided against the move after reportedly obtaining new evidence linking the attorney to the corruption scandal.


On Saturday Olmert responded for the first time to the reports linking him to the "Holyland" affair. Speaking to Ynet from Spain, 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.


פרסום ראשון: 04.11.10, 19:09
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