Israel's State Prosecutor Defends Indictment Against Former PM Olmert

Voices within the public and legal sectors call for an investigation of State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and possibly even courts following decision to formally indict Olmert.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador held a press conference on Tuesday following the acquittal of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two major cases and a conviction of breach of trust in a third. Lador said the State Prosecution had a duty to press charges, saying "it was also our public duty. Had we shelved these affairs we would have betrayed our responsibilities."

The verdict came as a complete surprise to the prosecution, in light of the fact that senior State Prosecutors office officials such as Lador and former Attorney General Manny Mazoz, were involved in the case. The two officials stood firmly against Olmert, and with the accusations made against him in indictments.

In an internal email among State Prosecutor officials sent in August 2008, Lador explained the reasons he decided to appear personally at Morris Talanskys preliminary testimony. In the email, Lador hinted at assuming personal responsibility should the move fail.

As you know, Ive decided to personally appear at these proceedings, (the preliminary testimony) and I made the decision principally because of the ethical issues involved in this case make it necessary for me, in my current position, to appear at the courthouse. I will also bear responsibility for any possible outcome that can arise from this unique move, wrote Lador.

Following Tuesday mornings acquittal of Olmert on almost all of the primary charges, voices within the public and legal sectors are calling for an investigation of the State Prosecutor, and possibly even the courts, to see who bears personal responsibility for the decision made by law enforcement officials to formally indict Olmert.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador
Emil Salman
Moshe Lador during his press conference
Emil Salman