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Israeli police recommend indicting Olmert on Corruption charges

Monday September 08, 2008 00:49 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

The Israeli Police submitted on Sunday its recommendations to the Israeli occupation government  Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, urging him to indict the Israeli occupation government prime minister, Ehud Olmert, in two corruption cases. The recommendations were submitted after a deliberation session held by the investigation department on Sunday morning.

Ehud Olmert

 The Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported that the two cases in question are the Rishon Tours double billing affair, and the Talansky affair.

The first case involves allegations that Olmert funded personal trips abroad for himself and his family with money obtained fraudulently from public organizations, while in the second case Olmert is suspected of illegally receiving money over the course of 15 years from Morris Talansky, a Jewish millionaire.

Olmert and his family travelled abroad on a number of occasions using the Rishon Tours agency.  According to the allegations, Olmertís office would present several bills to different institutions to cover the expenses of these tours. The office would then receive multiple payments for the same tour and the extra money would then be deposited in the account of Rishon Tours to cover personal trips for Olmert and his family.

Haaretz added that the police are expected to decide on a third case against Olmert in the near future. The case is regarding an investment Center. In this case, Olmert is suspected of granting personal favors to Uri Messer, and old law partner of Olmert who was acting on behalf of a law firm. The issue represents a conflict of interest, breach of trust and fraud, Haaretz reported.

The police suspect that the Jewish American businessman, Moshe Talansky, granted Olmert huge sums covering his trips abroad and covering his election campaign during the Jerusalem Municipality election, in which he was elected as the mayor of the city.

Olmert continued receiving money from Talansky when he became the Minister of Trade and Industry in the period between 2003 and 2006.

In his testimony in front of the Central Court in late May this year, Talansky confirmed that he handed Olmert envelopes filled with money at least ten times. The total amount is estimated to be 150,000 USD. Using his own credit card, Talansky also paid hotel bills for Olmert.

 The police submitted its recommendations to Israelís Attorney General, Menachim Mazuz, and the Israeli State Prosecutor, Moshe Lador, on Sunday morning. The decision whether Olmert will stand trial or not is in the hands of Mazuz.

 Meanwhile, the Israeli police said that the prosecution will determine its charges against Olmert within two weeks.

Olmertís Media Advisor said that it is certain that the police will file charges against Olmert, since the police force must justify its action of removing the prime minister from his post.  

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