Olmert. Provided fringe benefits to Likud activists?
Photo: Yaron Brener

Olmert to be indicted in political appointments affair

Former prime minister to face additional charges before being questioned about involvement in Holyland affair. Probe launched following 2006 state comptroller report

The State Prosecutor's Office announced Monday that an additional indictment, subject to a hearing, will be filed against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the political appointments affair during his stint as industry, trade and labor minister.


An indictment combining three separate corruption affairs was filed against the former prime minister last year with Olmert waiving his right for a hearing.


Police initially suspected that Olmert was involved in political appointments in Israel's Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (SMEA) during his tenure as industry, trade and labor minister, however a subsequent inquiry revealed a much wider scope of offences.


New suspicions pointed to 260 appointments or fringe benefits Olmert was responsible for as part of his various public positions.


Police suspect that Olmert, former Director-General of the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry Raanan Dinur and Cabinet Secretary Oved Yehezkel consistently provided posts and benefits for Likud activists and Central Committee members. Such activity was performed also during Olmert's stints as finance minister, Land Administration chief and Israel Broadcasting Authority head.


According to the case file, the three promoted acquaintances, prevented dismissals and pushed various bids in the numerous bodies reporting to the ministry, the likes of the Israel Postal Service, Bezeq telecommunications, the Employment Service, the Israel Land Administration, Small and Medium Enterprise Authority appointments, the Labor Court, to name a few.


The affair was uncovered in September 2006 with the publication of a report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, which suggested that a line of Likud Central Committee members were appointed for various posts in the SMEA without any professional qualifications.


Lindenstrauss relayed the report's findings to then Attorney General Menachem Mazuz for their possible criminal nature.


פרסום ראשון: 05.03.10, 16:08
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