Ehud Olmert said he is staying in office despite the launch of a new criminal probe against him.
“I have priorities as prime minister of Israel,” Olmert told his Cabinet in broadcast remarks Sunday. “I intend to uphold these priorities and continue to hold the meetings, carry out the responsibilities and do the things that I must.”
Israel’s attorney general ordered police to question Olmert on short notice Friday but barred the publication of details on the case, other than the fact that it involves new suspicions against the prime minister.
Olmert is the subject of three other criminal investigations. He has denied any wrongdoing.
The gag order on the new case prompted media speculation that Olmert could face such hefty charges that he would be forced to resign.
Olmert dismissed such talk as “malicious and vicious.”
“I regret to say that under circumstances over which I have no control, a wave of rumors has swept the country about the subject of the investigation,” Olmert said Sunday.
“I promise that when things are made clear by the proper authorities, they will be presented in the proper proportion and context, and this will put an end to the rumors.”
Olmert’s office said he canceled three Israeli media interviews scheduled ahead of Independence Day this week to avoid being asked about the investigation.