Israel’s attorney general warns Olmert


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s attorney general told Ehud Olmert that he plans to indict the former prime minister for alleged corruption in an investments affair.

Menahem Mazuz told Olmert’s attorneys on Sunday that he would likely indict Olmert in the Investment Centers affair pending a hearing in which Olmert can defend himself against the charges.

Olmert is alleged to have granted special help to friends and his former law partner Uri Messer in receiving government grants during his tenure as trade and industry minister in Ariel Sharon’s government.   

State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss found in 2007 that Olmert was guilty of a conflict of interest in the affair.

The indictment comes after a State Prosecutor’s office recommendation that the ex-prime minister be indicted in light of evidence gathered by the office.

The office last month closed an investigation into alleged corruption by Olmert in which he allegedly purchased a home at well below market price in exchange for granting favors to the contractor in his position as then-mayor of Jerusalem.

Police have recommended that Olmert be indicted in an affair in which he is accused of double-billing charities and organizations to pay for family vacations.

An investigation is ongoing in which Olmert is accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally from American businessman Morris Talansky.

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