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PM Olmert Appears to be Ducking Police

olmet duck.jpgChief of the Israel Police International Fraud Unit Brigadier-General Shlomi Ayalon, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador at the end of last week informed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he is being summoned to another questioning session in the ongoing investigation against him. The officials informed the prime minister via his attorneys, informing him that this can be accomplished on Saturday night or Sunday.

According to official reports as of Sunday morning, attorneys for the prime minister have informed police that Mr. Olmert is too busy at present due to the commitments of the prime minister.

In essence, the prime minister is buying time, preferring to wait until the Supreme Court hands down its decision in response to the petition challenging the state’s intention to take a deposition from key witness Moshe Talansky. The petition to the Supreme Court was filed by Olmert and his longtime assistance, Shula Zaken. The decision in the matter is expected on Monday.

Police and the prosecutor’s office want to question Olmert a second time before taking the deposition from Talansky, explaining it is crucial to the state’s case that they get a current version of events from the prime minister, seeking to pin him down to a position, to eliminate the ambiguities, a reality that will assist in the deposition from Talansky.

Supreme Court Justices Edna Arbel, Eliezer Rivlin and Salim Jubran will rule on the petition on Monday morning. Talansky is scheduled to begin his deposition the following Sunday, May 25th.

Olmert’s legal team maintains that the state’s move to obtain testimony from the star witness ahead of a criminal indictment is not only a serious violation of prudent procedure; it is a gross violation of the prime minister’s rights and undoubtedly compromises the integrity of the investigation.

Hearing that Olmert is pushing off the police request has elicited some harsh responses from lawmakers, led by MK (Labor) Shelly Yacimovitz, “Olmert’s cynical behavior is an abuse of his [senior public] position…preventing police from getting to the truth in the investigation.”

Joining in was MK (Meretz) Zahava Gal-On, “it is unacceptable that the prime minister seeks to minimize the investigation to buy time.”

MK (Likud) Yuli Edelstein added, “Olmert is trying to buy time in the investigation to prolong his political survival. He already knows that he will not emerge ‘clean’ from this chapter.”

MK (National Union) Tzvi Hendel stated “This is unparalleled chutzpa. I hope the judicial system will be wise enough to respond to his evasive tactics tenaciously.”

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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