Findings of Probes With Possible Ties to Olmert Termed 'Grave'

State Comptroller Lindenstrauss is set to release reports on allegations of improprieties in the near future.

In the near future, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss intends to release reports on alleged financial improprieties by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his wife Aliza concerning the Trade Ministry's Investment Center and the purchase of their apartment on Cremieux Street in Jerusalem.

Officials of the Comptroller's Office believe that the findings will be "grave."

The Investment Center affair was uncovered nine months ago by Haaretz and concerns an alleged conflict of interest that occured when Olmert was minister of industry, trade and labor. Olmert is suspected of fraud and a breach of trust by giving preference in a tender to a factory which is represented by his long-time partner, attorney Uri Messer.

The Comptroller's Office has also been investigating allegations that Olmert purchased the home at Cremieux Street for $320,000 less than the market value of the property in 2003. It is also investigating whether Olmert, in exchange, influenced officials at the Jerusalem municipality to grant irregular construction permits for the property in question. Olmert had just completed a 10-year stint as mayor of Jerusalem in 2003.

Speaking on Israel's "Meet the Press" on Saturday, Lindenstrauss rejected accusations that he is waging a personal vendetta against Olmert. "I have no reason to persecute him and will continue to do my work in an appropriate manner," the state comptroller said.