Olmert indicted on corruption charges

September 1, 2009

Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert, has been charged with corruption following months of investigations that forced him from office.

Olmert, has maintained his innocence all along, despite announcing last autumn that he would resign as the corruption allegations mounted.

Prosecutors dropped their investigations into several allegations for lack of evidence, but at the weekend indicted him on charges including fraud and breach of trust. They date back to a time before his 2006 appointment as PM when he was a minister and Jerusalem mayor.

A US businessman Morris Talansky, alleged in court last year that he gave him thousands of dollars in envelopes he believed were spent on hotels, holidays and cigars. He said Olmert asked for the money in cash and kept no record of how it was spent.

Olmert is also alleged to have double-billed for flights he booked through a travel agency called Rishon Tours. He is also accused of double-billing were the Simon Weisenthal Centre, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and the World Jewish Congress, according to the Ha'aretz newspaper.

A third inquiry involves claims that he gave personal favours to a former legal partner who was acting on behalf of a company known as the Israel Investments Centre. Investigators believe Olmert committed fraud and breach of trust.

Last updated: 4:52pm, September 2 2009