Police clear Olmert in bank case

Israeli police recommended against prosecuting Ehud Olmert for alleged bid rigging.

Police investigators, having probed suspicions that Olmert while industry and trade minister in 2005 tried to tailor the privatization of Bank Leumi to help a friend’s bid, announced Thursday there was insufficient evidence for a trial.

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing in the case, which Attorney General Menachem Mazuz must now decide whether to pursue.

Olmert is also under investigation for an apparent steep discount he received on the purchase of a Jerusalem home and suspicion he arranged a state stipend for a former colleague. Both of those cases also predate his election as prime minister in 2006, and Olmert has dismissed them as baseless.

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