Zaken and Olmert in court (archives)
Photo: Emile Salman

Officials: Zaken may turn state witness in Holyland affair

Law enforcement official says Olmert's former bureau chief will help 'tie up loose ends' in real estate corruption scandal if she agrees to cooperate

Over the past few days law enforcement officials have been conducting talks with Shula Zaken regarding the possibility that she will turn state witness and testify against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the Holyland corruption affair, Ynet learned late Saturday night.


Zaken, Olmert's former bureau chief, is currently visiting the US together with her attorney, Micha Fetman, who is apparently involved in the negotiations.


Zaken is expected to return to Israel sometime this week.


One of the possibilities mentioned is that Zaken will be offered to turn state witness in the various cases against Olmert.


"There is no doubt that if Shula cooperates with the police and the prosecution, it would help tie up the loose ends in the Holyland affair," one law enforcement official told Ynet.


"As someone who was the closest person to Olmert, she can definitely provide us with answers to open questions, especially those pertaining to Olmert's role in the affair," he said.


Olmert, who has denied any connection to the affair, is expected to be interrogated after Independence Day. Attorney Uri Messer, a longtime Olmert confidante, is among the suspects in the case, as is former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski.


Lupolianski is set to be released to house arrest on Sunday.


On Thursday Olmert dismissed out of hand suggestions that he was involved in the Holyland corruption scandal, saying again that he never took or was offered a bribe.


In a special press conference, Olmert slammed what he characterized as efforts to defame him.


"What we have here is a character assassination attempt that is unprecedented in its scope and might," he told the cameras.


פרסום ראשון: 04.18.10, 06:56
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