Likelihood of Olmert indictment high, but not for months

Sunday, May 25, 2008 |  staff writer
Israeli media on Sunday was swirling with reports that an indictment against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was just a “matter of time” according to a law-enforement source. Olmert was reportedly cooperative when questioned by police, but failed to explain several key points, claiming he does not recall details, according to reports.

This was Olmert’s second round of questioning with National Fraud Unit investigators.

The prime minister is currently under investigation for allegedly receiving bribes up to $500,000 from wealthy US Jewish businessman - and the chief witness in the case - Moshe Talansky during his time as mayor of Jerusalem and then minister of industry and trade. This is the sixth corruption scandal involving Olmert since he became prime minister.

Olmert has acknowledged taking money from Talansky for political campaigns, but said that Uri Messer, who was questioned again Thursday, was responsible for his campaign finances. Olmert has denied wrongdoing and vowed to resign if indicted, placing a heavy burden of proof on investigators.

Top police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Olmert would likely be questioned a third time within the week.

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