Israel attorney general considering indictment of PM Olmert

[JURIST] Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz [official website, in Hebrew] said Wednesday that he is considering indicting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile] following police recommendations in connection with his alleged double billing [Haaretz report] of state and charitable donors for travel expenses in 2002-2006 while serving as a government official. Olmert allegedly accumulated over $100,000 in an account handled by the same agency to fund his own and his family’s travel. In the face of the Attorney General’s formal statement Olmert has the right to defend himself [Haaretz report] at a hearing. Pursuant to that, the Attorney General may or may not decide to indict Olmert. If Mazuz moves to indict, Olmert would be the first PM to be indicted in Israeli history [AP report].

The double billing case was one of the reasons [JURIST report] why Olmert officially resigned in September, but he is currently continuing to serve as caretaker PM until a new PM is elected on February 10, 2009. Olmert maintains his innocence on all charges, and refuses to step down by declaring himself incapacitated or taking an extended leave, despite critical pressure [BBC report] from his own Kadima [official website, in Hebrew] party.



 

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