Saturday, November 24, 2007

Police delay release of findings on Bank Leumi affair until after Annapolis

Recommendations regarding Olmert's alleged involvement in sale of bank's controlling interest pushed back until after he returns from peace conference. Israel Police decided on Friday to delay the release of its recommendations regarding Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's alleged involvement in the sale of Bank Leumi's controlling interest until Thursday, after the Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland.

Initially senior police officials said the recommendations would be released this coming Sunday, but staunch criticism directed at the force over its timing prompted a change of schedule. Major General Yohanan Danino, head of police investigations and intelligence, announced that the publication of the findings would wait until the prime minister's return to Israel.

According to suspicions, during his tenure as acting finance minister Olmert altered a government tender for the privatization of Bank Leumi to favor a bid lodged by a consortium controlled by his friends, Daniel Abrams and Frank Louise.

The prime minister was questioned twice by police investigators over this affair.

Olmert is currently facing three more investigations, one regarding the sale of his house on Cremieux Street and the two others regarding his tenure as trade, industry and labor minister. .

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