Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was interrogated for 45 minutes by representatives of the State Comptroller’s office yesterday in regard to the real estate deal of the house on Cremieux Street in the German Colony neighborhood in Jerusalem.
Officials at the Prime Minister’s Office said that “the PM gave them clarifications regarding the purchasing of the house.” People close to Olmert said that the whole investigation would prove to be nothing but a joke.
The Olmert couple had purchased the garden apartment in October 2004 for $1.2 million. According to the findings that were gathered by the Comptroller, the true value of the home was appraised at between $1.6 million to $1.8 million, so in fact, Olmert received a discount to the tune of $400,000 to $600,000 on the transaction.
According to the allegations, Olmert is suspected of using his influence to get the Jerusalem Municipality to assist the contractor in obtaining special permits to add an additional 420 square meters to the existing building, enough for two additional apartments which significantly increased the value of the building.
The Comptroller’s investigation focuses on the question if indeed Olmert’s people had pressured city employees to give the contractor special permits for the project.
Olmert is vehemently denying that he asked anyone from his people or from the city to help the contractor in any matter.