State Attorney's Office Requests Resumption of Trial Against Former Olmert Aide

Rachael Risby-Raz's trial was frozen after an appeal was filed against Olmert's acquittal from the Rishon Tours Affair.

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
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Rachael Risby-Raz in court on Spetember 8, 2010.
Rachael Risby-Raz in court on Spetember 8, 2010.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The State Attorney's Office filed a request with the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday to resume the trial against Rachael Risby-Raz, a former employee of Ehud Olmert who was charged in the course of the Rishon Tours Affair.

The request to resume the trial followed a deal signed between the State Attorney's Office and Olmert's former office manager Shula Zaken, who has agreed to turn state witness against him.

Risby-Raz, who handled overseas contacts for Ehud Olmert when he served as mayor of Jerusalem and later as a senior minister, was charged with a list of frauds against various organizations that yielded significant financial benefits for Olmert.

The former prime minister was himself acquitted after the court ruled two years ago that there was no conclusive evidence that he was aware of the crimes that benefited him with extra funding by the state and by public organizations for his trips abroad. Olmert used the surplus funds, about $92,000, to pay for private flights for his relatives and to upgrade his own flight-tickets.

Risby-Raz, who was indicted in July 2009, was the first defendant in the Rishon Tours Affair, though proceedings against her have been delayed several times, and she has yet to respond in writing to the charges against her, among them aggravated fraud, falsifying corporate documents, and breach of trust.

Risby-Raz's trial has been put on hold after the State Attorney's Office appealed Olmert's acquittal.

On Tuesday, another case against Olmert, known as the Talansky "cash envelopes" affair, was reopened in Jerusalem District Court. The case involves alleged receipt by the former prime minister of donations from New York businessman Morris Talansky, between 1997 and 2005, that were not properly reported. Charged with fraud, breach of trust and concealing fraudulent earnings in the affair, Olmert was acquitted in 2012. Last month, however, the Supreme Court ordered a retrial.

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