Denies allegations. Olmert
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Olmert questioned for 8 hours over Holyland affair

Investigators present former PM with documentation, state witness testimony they believe confirm suspicions, of fraud, bribery, money laundering and breach of trust. Attorney Messer also questioned

The second interrogation session of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came to an end Sunday afternoon.


Olmert was questioned for eight hours at the National Fraud Investigations Unit's offices in Lod about his part in the Holyland corruption affair, including suspicions of fraud, bribery, breach of trust and money laundering. The investigators informed him he should expect another session of questioning next week.


The suspicions relate to Olmert's stint as mayor of Jerusalem (1993-2003) and minister of industry, trade and labor (2003-2006).


During the interrogation session, Olmert was presented with documents and additional evidence that investigators believe confirm the suspicions against him. The evidence also included the testimony of a state witness, according to which the former PM received bribes for authorizing and backing the Holyland real estate project in the capital.


The state witness said he had given Olmert and his associates checks in exchange for their support of the project.


Following his first interrogation session Olmert reiterated his claim that he had never received a bribe.


Attorney Uri Messer, Olmert's longtime confidante, was also questioned Sunday. Messer and other suspects in the Holyland case have all been interrogated numerous times and released to their homes under restricting conditions.


Prior to Sunday's interrogation, police sources said they did not intend to question him on video footage of him speaking with his former bureau chief Shula Zaken and former Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yehoshua Polak during the wedding of former Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri's daughter.


Polak and Zaken are also suspects in the Holyland affair, and have been ordered not to make contact with other suspects or discussing the investigation.


According to suspicions, Olmert received the bribes indirectly through Zaken and Messer.


In his first round of questioning, the former prime minister answered all the questions and repeated his claim that he did not receive a bribe "from anyone". As for his involvement in advancing the real estate projects, Olmert said that it was not personal and that he had no other considerations. He denied the police's claims that his associates, Shula Zaken and Attorney Uri Messer, received the bribes and transferred them to him in different ways.


פרסום ראשון: 05.30.10, 17:38
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