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Israeli Police Recommend Corruption Charges Against Olmert

  • VOA News

Israeli police have recommended that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert face charges in connection with two corruption cases.

Police said Sunday they have sufficient evidence that Mr. Olmert accepted illegal payments from an American businessman (Morris Talansky). They also recommended indicting Mr. Olmert on suspicion of double-billing the government for travel expenses.

Police say the alleged offenses happened over a 15-year period while Mr. Olmert served as a Cabinet minister and as mayor of Jerusalem. Mr. Olmert's lawyers have dismissed the police announcement as meaningless.

Israeli Attorney General Meni Mazuz will make the final decision on whether to indict Mr. Olmert. Mazuz and his predecessors have turned down police recommendations to indict Israeli leaders several times.

Mr. Olmert denies wrongdoing, but has already promised to resign once his ruling Kadima Party picks a new leader on September 17th.

He could remain in office as a caretaker prime minister for months if lawmakers fail to form a new coalition government, forcing early elections.

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