Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was questioned by police for eight hours on Tuesday in connection with his alleged illegal actions pertaining to the Holyland case. The allegations against Olmert address the time period during which he served as mayor of Jerusalem and minister of Industry & trade, as well as overseeing Israel Lands Administration.
On Tuesday night, Olmert attended a wedding and met with some old friends, Shula Zaken, his former bureau chief and long time confidant, and Yehoshua Pollack, a former Jerusalem deputy mayor. They too appear on the suspect list in the Holyland affair, both questioned ahead of police. Police on Wednesday are reviewing photos and video footage of the wedding and a decision must be made how to address the violation, the suspects ignoring terms of their release, meeting with other defendants in the case. Olmert crossed the line just hours after promising police not to meet with other suspects following a day involving hours of questions surrounding his alleged illegal actions. In Zaken’s case, she also told a remand hearing justice who granted her bail that she would not meet or speak with other suspects.
The three were all guests at the wedding of a daughter of former Shas leader R’ Aryeh Deri. The wedding was held in the Ramada Jerusalem Hotel. Police may reevaluate the terms of Olmert’s release as a result of the wedding violation.
Channel 2 News shows Olmert approaching the arriving vehicle bringing Pollack to the wedding, not even waiting for him to enter the hall, but coming outside to greet his old friend and colleague. He is then seen walking with Zaken, surprising even the media, having just spent the day under police questioning, totaling ignoring directives prohibiting such contact.
Olmert is scheduled to be questioned in the Holyland case for a second time this Sunday. The former prime minister reportedly repeated his standard line, denying any involvement in illegal activities or accepting bribes. He also denied that Zaken and former partner and attorney Uri Messer accepted funds on his behalf.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)