Olmert Facing Several Indictments

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz plans to file an indictment against outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the case involving U.S. businessman Morris Talansky.

Mazuz said that pending a final hearing with Olmert's attorneys, he would file the first criminal indictment for the "stuffed-envelopes" case involving the alleged transfer of tens of thousands of dollars in cash from Talansky.

The attorney general also plans to indict Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken.

"The prime minister's overall conduct demonstrated a methodical, systematic abuse of his public office and standing, which took place over a number of years and was meant to derive financial benefits from Mr. Talansky," Mazuz stated in his letter.

According to the State Prosecutor's Office, pending charges include fraud and breach of public trust, but exclude bribery charges because they might be difficult to prove in court.

"This affair raises questions about bribery," a senior official in the State Prosecutors Office told YNet news.

"This is a senior minister who took money from an American friend and in return wrote letters to other businessmen in his name. The public should decide, after the charges are read, if he shouldn't be place on trial," he said.

In his statement, Mazuz said Olmert abused government guidelines and deliberately deceived the State Comptroller's Office on several occasions.

Several months ago, the attorney general announced his intention to indict Olmert in the Rishon Tours affair in which Olmert allegedly approved multiple billings of public institutions to finance trips abroad, pocketing the excess to fund his family's travels.

Charges in that case, also referred to as "Olmerttours," include fraud, breach of public trust, false registration and tax evasion.

Other criminal investigations against Olmert have included the Bank Leumi affair, the Cremieux Street case and the political appointments investigation, all involving abuse of public office for personal gain.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post

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