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District Court Refuses to Release Messer

The Petach Tikvah District Court on Monday rejected a second appeal filed on behalf of Uri Messer, the primary suspect in the Holyland investigation. Messer’s remand was extended for a second time, for 5 days, earlier in the week. His legal team appealed the move, albeit without success. The court accepted the state’s contention that his release would permit him to interfere with the ongoing investigation.

There is still a gag order on the case, which appears to involve many [former] officials in Jerusalem City Hall. There is also speculation that despite his adamant statements of denial, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will once again find himself entangled in a high-profile criminal case since the Holyland affair took place during Olmert’s tenure as Jerusalem mayor.

According to a Tuesday report in the daily Yediot Achronot, an aide to Olmert states a “key figure” in the investigation tried to blackmail the former prime minister.

Israel Radio reports Israel Police officials expect additional arrests to be made in the coming days.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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