Israeli fraud squad quizzes Olmert over property scandal

Israel`s fraud squad questioned former PM Ehud Olmert for the second time in a week over his alleged involvement in a huge property scandal.

Jerusalem: Israel`s fraud squad
questioned former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday for the
second time in a week over his alleged involvement in a huge
property scandal, police said.

He was questioned for eight hours on Tuesday.
Olmert, who is already on trial on three unrelated
counts of fraud and bribery, was being questioned at a police
station in Lod near Tel Aviv.

The investigation reportedly centres on his alleged
role in a property scandal involving bribes from developers
building a grandiose residential project in Jerusalem called
the Holyland complex.

Last month, prosecutors named Olmert as a key suspect
in the so-called Holyland affair in which he is suspected of
having taken bribes totalling some 3.5 million shekels (one
million dollars, 743,000 euros).

The bribes were allegedly given during construction of
the massive complex in the 1990s, in a period when Olmert was
mayor of Jerusalem.

The affair, which has riveted the nation, is the
latest in a series of graft accusations against Olmert.

In December, Olmert pleaded not guilty to charges of
corruption linked to three other cases. He resigned under
pressure in September 2008 after police recommended he be
indicted.

He is accused of unlawfully accepting gifts of
cash-stuffed envelopes from Jewish-American businessman Morris
Talanski and of multiple-billing for foreign trips.

PTI

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