Ehud Barak Denies Bribery Claims

Former defense minister says Ehud Olmert's allegation against him is a 'baseless lie being circulated for years by a criminal who has since been convicted.'

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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak speak at a press conference on Jan. 17, 2009.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak speak at a press conference on Jan. 17, 2009.Credit: Nir Kafri

Former Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday officially denied the contents of recorded remarks made by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert alleging that he, Barak, had taken millions of dollars in bribes.

Credit: Amos Biderman

“This is a baseless lie being circulated for years by a criminal who has since been convicted, for reasons that anyone with sense can evaluate for himself,” Barak said.

Barak, who served as defense minister under Olmert, added, that “The only Mossad head mentioned as the source [for Olmert’s allegations] has already vehemently denied this. If Olmert has any additional information let him go immediately to the police. The same is true for any of his sources, assuming they even exist.”

On Friday, Channel 10 played recordings made in July, 2011 in which Olmert tells his top aide, Shula Zaken, that Barak had taken “millions and tens of millions in bribes.”

“He’ll end up in jail,” Olmert says. “Remember what I’m telling you, Shulathere was a Mossad head hereeveryone comes to meHe took bribes worth millions and tens of millions. There is no weapons deal Israel does... everyone is talking about it.”

Zaken, who made the recordings, then asked Olmert where the money is, to which he responded, “He hides it in Switzerland or in some law firm, he transfers it to a company where Barak’s name doesn’t appear.”

There is no evidence backing the claims made in the recording.Barak told Channel 10, “This is idiocy that does not deserve a response, and certainly not at this time,” he said, referring to Olmert’s legal troubles. Mossad head Tamir Pardo also denied any knowledge of what Olmert was referring to.

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