Fmr Israeli PM Denies Corruption Charges

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's lead attorney released a statement on Monday denying all charges against his client in the Rishon Tours, Talansky and investment center cases.

Olmert has been indicted on a string of corruption charges, which include fraud, breach of public trust, tax evasion, and falsifying public records.

"I would like to take this opportunity on this day to make a comprehensive denial of all allegations made against Olmert in the indictment," lawyer Eli Zohar said on Monday.

Shula Zaken, who served as Olmert's bureau chief and confident, said she will also plead not guilty to similar charges.

The indictment alleges that Olmert and Zaken "maliciously abused" the former prime minister's position "for continual and systematic activities to gain financial benefits for Olmert."

When the court convened last September, Olmert told the justices under oath that he came "as an innocent man" and he would leave the same way.

Following preliminaries in September, the court set February 22, 2010, to begin the trial in earnest, when witnesses will be called to the stand in three weekly sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.


YNet news contributed to this report.

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