Officials: Leumi Case Against PM Still Open

Charges could still be filed against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the Bank Leumi affair, despite the recommendation of the police to close the case, sources in the State Comptroller's Office said yesterday.

The sources said the police recommendation is "not the final word," and that new State Prosecutor Moshe Lador will need to give his opinion on legal matters that weren't addressed in the police investigation.

Olmert is suspected of having interfered in the privatization of the bank in order to benefit a friend. The sources said "it can be assumed that Lador won't only see the investigative side, but the bigger picture."

There have been cases in the past where police recommended a case be closed, claiming insufficient evidence for an indictment, but the State Prosecution decided otherwise after its own examination.

State Comptroller officials are also awaiting examinations by the police and the prosecution of Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss' findings on another case implicating Olmert.

The findings pertain to a grant awarded to the Dimona Silica Industries by the Industry and Trade Ministry's Investment Center while Olmert was minister. The factory is represented by Uri Messer, an attorney and Olmert's former business partner.