Thursday, September 04, 2008
Police to Recommend Indicting Olmert
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Police negotiators will meet Thursday and Sunday to wrap up recommendations that the government indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for crimes in three different cases, police sources said. The suggested indictments cover alleged fraud and breach of trust in the probes involving American businessman Morris Talansky, Rishon Tours and private investments Chief investigators and the head of the fraud squad also will decide whether to question him again. The Hebrew website NFC, which has been in the forefront in exposing the probes against him, said that police planned to question Prime Minister Olmert again on Friday, but that he refused because he does not feel well and has a heavy work load.
Amir Dan, spokesman for the Prime Minister, dismissed the reports of the recommendation of charges as "superfluous," as the police have already made it known they want to recommend indicting him.
The timing of the police recommendations is significant because Prime Minister Olmert intends to bring to the Cabinet on Sunday the issue of compensation for Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria who agree to leave their homes. Ministers from the entire political spectrum have denounced the planned discussions as poorly timed, and the Prime Minister said he will not ask the Cabinet to vote on the proposal.
The possible indictments involve some $150,000 in cash that Talansky transferred to Olmert, to be used simultaneously for Likud campaigns and for his own campaign in the mayoral race in Jerusalem. The Rishon Tours probe centers on allegations of double billing for trips Olmert took abroad. The system earned Olmert an extra $110,000 that his family is suspected of having used for private trips.
The police may also recommend indicting the Prime Minister for interfering in investm