Police: Indict Olmert

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel Police National Fraud Unit is recommending a third indictment against outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Fraud Unit detectives announced Thursday that they have accrued enough evidence to warrant an indictment in what has been dubbed the Israel Investments Center Case, dating back more than 10 years.

In 1998, a group of American businessmen proposed a joint Israeli-Jordanian recreation center on more than 1,000 acres between Israel's southernmost resort city of Eilat and the Jordanian city of Aqaba.

When the joint venture fell through, the group recommended that the Israeli government take it over under the management of the Israel Investments Center, headed by attorney Uri Messer, a close friend and business associate of Olmert's.

The case alleges that Olmert used his influence as industry and trade minister to appropriate government grants to the investment center to advance the project.

Police believe there is sufficient evidence in this case to indict Olmert for fraud and breach of trust.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has already announced his decision to indict Olmert in two other cases:  the Morris Talansky affair, involving the transfer of tens of thousands of dollars in cash; and the Rishon Tours case, involving multiple billing of his official trips abroad.

Olmert's media advisor, Dan Amir, dismissed the National Fraud Unit's latest announcement.

"The attempt to turn every personal acquaintance into a criminal offense is unreasonable," Amir said. "Olmert had only one goal in mind: to assist in creating hundreds of jobs and to fight the bureaucracy that has held back the region's development for years," he said.

Source: YNet news

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