U.S. Billionaire Daniel Abraham: I Never Gave Money to Olmert

Tycoon suspected of alleged corruption denies all allegations, says probe meant to harm Olmert coalition.

Haaretz Service
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American billionaire Daniel Abraham, who was questioned by police under suspicion that he gave envelopes filled with cash to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, denied all allegations against him Thursday in an interview with Army Radio.

Abraham, a philanthropist who made his fortune as founder of Slim-Fast food products, is a close friend of Olmert's and has been mentioned as a key figure in two investigations against the prime minister.

"Of course I never gave any money to Ehud Olmert. The very question is insulting to me," Abraham told Army Radio. "This is my reputation at stake and I have no reason to risk it."

Abraham also told the radio station that while he was questioned by police, they confronted him with the testimony of a cab driver who says that he witnessed Abrams giving Olmert envelopes filled with money a few years ago.

The billionaire stressed that he was not been questioned by police, but rather gave them testimony. He also said that he had never seen or had any personal relationship with the cab driver in question.

When asked by Army Radio if he thinks there are people who are seeking to bring Olmert down, Abraham said without hesitation that it certainly seems so. Later in the interview, he added that the cab driver actually told him that he wants to bring down the government and Olmert.

Abraham said he believes Olmert is "honest and one of the best prime ministers we have ever had."

With regard to the key witness in the new investigation, fellow American tycoon Morris Talansky, Abraham said he does not think he knows him and that his memory on the matter is blurry.

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