Outgoing Israeli PM Olmert likely to face corruption charges

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Jerusalem, Mar.2 (ANI): Israel's Attorney General announced Sunday that he intends to indict departing prime minister Ehud Olmert in a corruption case involving a Long Island businessman, Morris Talansky.

According to a statement from the Justice Ministry, Olmert will be granted a judicial hearing before a final decision is made.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said he is considering criminal charges against Olmert including fraud, breach of trust and receiving illicit funds.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Justice Ministry statement did not mention bribe taking, although the police said in September that they had evidence pointing to such a charge.

Talansky, a resident of Woodsburgh, New York, testified that much of Olmert's money was acquired over a period of 13 years before Mr. Olmert became prime minister in 2006.

Olmert acknowledged receiving the payments but said they were all legitimate donations for political campaigns. Still, the uproar resulting from the testimony led Olmert to resign.

Reacting to the attorney general's announcement, Amir Dan, a media adviser of Olmert, said that Talansky's testimony was "false and contradictory" and that the "mountains created by the police at the beginning of the episode have already turned into little molehills, and they, too, will disappear in the end." (ANI)

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