Olmert's Attorneys Waive Hearing

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's legal team waived their client's right to a preliminary hearing in the Rishon Tours case after the State Prosecutor's Office issued an indictment on Thursday against Olmert's former travel coordinator.

Rachel Risbi-Raz is the first to be indicted in the Rishon Tours affair, also referred to as Olmerttours.

Among the charges facing her are fraud, breach of trust, and falsifying corporate documents.

The indictment alleges that Olmert's former travel coordinator participated in fraudulent bookings for his official trips abroad during his tenure as Industry, Trade and Labor minister and during his four years as mayor of Jerusalem from 2003 to 2006. 

According to the indictment, organizations defrauded over the course of his tenure include Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers, the Association for the Rehabilitation of the Mentally Handicapped in Israel, the March of the Living and the World Jewish Congress.

Olmert allegedly directed Risbi-Raz to double and triple book his travel arrangements and use the excess to fund his family's trips abroad, according to the indictment.

Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken may also be facing charges in the Rishon Tours case.

"Mr. Olmert, Ms. Zaken and the defendant carried all this out in ways that are against the norms and the rules a minister and a public servant must abide by, through fraud and breach of trust," the indictment stated. 

In a letter to Attorney General Menachem (Meni) Mazuz, Olmert's attorneys said they may also waive preliminary hearings in two other cases pending against him -- the Talansky case and the Investment Center case.

Source: Ynet news

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