Shula Zaken in court
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Olmert. Did he take a bribe?
Photo: Yaron Brener

Police: Zaken gave Olmert more than NIS 1M

Former PM's bureau chief placed under house arrest, but police tell court they suspect she received hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes in exchange for advancing Holyland real estate project

The police suspect that Shula Zaken, Ehud Olmert's former bureau chief, transferred to the former prime minister more than NIS 1 million (about $270,000) in bribes. She is also suspected of taking hundreds of thousands of shekels in exchange for advancing the Holyland real estate project in Jerusalem.


Police representatives told the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court on Sunday that Zaken received jewelry worth NIS 10,000 ($2,690) and a painting worth about NIS 5,000 ($1,345).


At the end of the discussion, Zaken was placed under house arrest for 10 days, under restrictions.

As she entered the courtroom, Olmert's former bureau chief conveyed a sense of optimism. "I am a woman of faith and God gives me strength. It's easier for a believer," she said.


Asked whether the days she spent in detention caused her to break down, she replied, "A person of faith does not break down." Asked what she told the investigators about the suspicions against her, Zaken said, "I only told the truth."


She is also suspected of being involved in the bribes paid to former Jerusalem City Engineer Uri Shetrit.

The police also suspect that she disrupted the investigation proceedings by turning to businessman Shmuel Dechner and asking him not to tell the police about his activities with Olmert's former associate, Attorney Uri Messer. She also asked him not to say a thing about Olmert's involvement in the corruption affair.


Zaken was arrested last week immediately after returning from the United States, and has spent the last seven days in a women's jail. She continues to deny taking a bribe or transferring money to Olmert.


The decision on whether to summon Olmert for questioning may be made later Sunday, during a meeting between State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and members of the special team involved in the Holyland investigation.


פרסום ראשון: 05.02.10, 15:17
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