Former Prime Minister Olmert Probed for Obstructing Justice

The former prime minister is being questioned in the Holyland and Rishon Tours graft cases, following evidence submitted by Shula Zaken.

Ido Erez

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was questioned under caution on Monday morning by the Israel Anti Fraud Unit on suspicion of obstructing justice and witness tampering in the Holyland Affair and Rishon Tours.

Olmert was summoned for questioning following evidence submitted by Shula Zaken,  who signed a state witness agreement.  He was convicted last Monday of accepting bribes in the long-running corruption case.

The decision to investigate Olmert was taken by the State Attorney 10 days ago, when it requested the court authorize his investigation and called Zaken in as a witness. Zaken submitted evidence that includes documents and tapes, all of which are under a gag order.

Responding to the court, Olmert's attorneys said "Olmert is willing to be questioned on all matters of new suspicions against him, at any time." Should the investigation into obstruction of justice develop, Olmert will be submitted a new indictment separate from the Holyland file. The State Attorney is considering using the information in the context of the appeal on his acquittal in the Talansky and Rishon Tours affair.

Navot Tel Zur, Olmert’s attorney for the Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs, was questioned Sunday. Other senior attorneys, as well as a senior partner in the Ram Caspi law offices, are also expected to be investigated in the affair.

Zaken’s defense attorneys, Ofer Bartal and Gilad Cohen, met with Tel Zur, roughly a year ago. Both of those cases were awaiting review from the Supreme Court. Zaken asked for a second opinion regarding the plea bargain, and approached Tel Zur, who is also expected to relay her version of events.