Investigators Boost Case against Olmert

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - A team of three Israeli investigators has been in the US tracking down information in the corruption case against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Olmert is under investigation for receiving some $150,000 in cash from American Jewish businessman Morris Talansky, allegedly for financing Olmert's political campaigns and related expenses.

In a pre-trial deposition on May 27, Talansky provided detailed information about large amounts of cash given to Olmert over a period of years.

Uri Korev, an attorney from the Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office, along with Lior Weiss and Tzahi Havkin, superintendents from the Israel Police National Fraud Unit, have gathered substantial evidence in New York, Washington and Las Vegas.

"The case against Olmert has grown stronger," one official said, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. "The case is progressing nicely," another senior official reported.

Investigators plan to continue gathering evidence for the next two weeks, returning to Israel before Talansky's July 17 cross-examination by Olmert's attorneys.

In a separate case involving Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a spokeswoman for the National Fraud Unit denied rumors that Shmuel Levy had been granted immunity.

Levy provided National Fraud Unit detectives with testimony against Barak related to a six-year investigation that was closed because key players refused to testify.

On Tuesday, Ma'ariv, an Israeli newspaper, quoted Levy as saying that he received "not envelopes, but cartons of money" to pay "field activists." According to the newspaper, Levy said "huge sums" passed through his hands.

Source: Haaretz

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