Uri Messer
Uri Messer. Photo by Olivier Fittousi
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An investigation against Uri Messer, a close friend and one-time law partner of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, was closed yesterday after the prosecution said it had insufficient evidence to continue.

Messer was a suspect in the Holyland bribery investigation and prosecutor Uri Korb made the announcement during a hearing in Olmert's trial in the Jerusalem District Court yesterday.

Some two months ago, the National Fraud Investigation Unit recommended closing the case against Messer for lack of evidence. Korb told the court the decision was made after reviewing the investigation material, and in view of Korb's expected appearance as witness for the prosecution in another trial involving the former prime minister.

Korb said that Messer will testify not on the Holyland affair, in which Olmert and others are accused of taking bribes to push through a Jerusalem mega-development, but on the suspected conflict of interest involving him and Olmert in the so-called Investments Center affair.

The future of the cases of other suspects in the Holyland affair, including the former prime minister himself, his bureau chief Shula Zaken and a number of public figures and businessmen have yet to be decided by the prosecution.

Earlier this year police recommended indicting Olmert on bribery charges in the affair.