Mazuz to Olmert: Indictment likely


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s attorney general said he is considering charges against Ehud Olmert for allegedly using public funds to finance family vacations.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Wednesday informed the Israeli prime minister’s lawyer that he is mulling several counts in what is becoming known as the Rishon Tours double-billing scandal.

Olmert is under investigation in six unrelated cases, including the Talansky Affair, in which he is alleged to have received illegal contributions from American businessman Morris Talansky over the course of 15 years. The flurry of investigations led Olmert to tender his resignation, which will become effective after new national elections in February.

Under the alleged double-billing scheme, on 12 separate occasions, more than one public body was asked to finance the same flight for Olmert’s working trips abroad when he was mayor of Jerusalem and later as a government minister. The extra money was put into an account at the tours office and then used to pay for family members when they booked personal vacations.

Olmert can request a hearing with the attorney general on the matter before Mazuz makes a final decision.

Olmert’s former bureau chief Shula Zaken also was informed that she faces indictment in the double-billing case.

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