Israel s state comptroller is expected to release reports soon on alleged financial improprieties by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The improprieties, labeled ‘grave’ by comptroller officials, concern the Trade Ministry’s Investment Center and the purchase of Olmert’s home in Jerusalem, Ha aretz reported. The Investment Center affair concerns an alleged conflict of interest that occurred when Olmert was minister of industry, trade and labor. Olmert is suspected of fraud and a breach of trust for giving preference in an offer to a factory represented by his longtime partner, attorney Uri Messer. The comptroller’s office has also been investigating allegations that Olmert purchased his Jerusalem home in 2003 for $320,000 less than the market value in exchange for influencing officials at the Jerusalem municipality to grant irregular construction permits for the property. Olmert had just completed a 10-year stint as mayor of Jerusalem in 2003. Speaking Saturday on Israel’s “Meet the Press,” Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss rejected accusations that he has a personal vendetta against Olmert.
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