Olmert completes testimony in corruption trial

By
July 24, 2011 18:18

Former prime minister spars verbally with state attorney Korb as he continues to deny corruption allegations against him.

1 minute read.



Former PM Ehud Olmert in court [file photo]

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert with lawyer in court 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

As he took the witness stand for the final time in the Jerusalem District Court Sunday, former prime minister Ehud Olmert was grilled about charges against his former bureau chief, Shula Zaken.

Zaken has been indicted on a charge that she secretly eavesdropped on Olmert’s phone conversations with senior politicians.

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Zaken admitted that she had eavesdropped on Olmert’s phone conversations with former prime minister Ariel Sharon and then-Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu in court last year, but denied recalling the contents of those conversations.

Olmert denied lying to police investigators that he had not known about the eavesdropping, and said that he thought the investigators were referring to phone calls related to national security.

After the trial, Olmert’s attorney, Eli Zohar, told reporters that the former prime minister had “given a worthy explanation of all the charges he has been accused of”.

Olmert’s spokesperson, Amir Dan, told The Jerusalem Post that the former prime minister had given “clear answers to every question he was asked.”

“At the end of his testimony, the only thing that remains to be said is that the indictments [against Olmert] are quite simply absurd. A prime minister was forced to step down on the basis of these absurd charges,” said Dan.

The trial is expected to recommence in the second week of September, following the courts’ August recess.

The next stage of the trial will hear witnesses for the defense, including Raanan Dinor, the former general manager of the prime minister’s office.

It is likely that Olmert’s son, Shaul Olmert, will also testify.

However, it is not yet known whether Shula Zaken, Olmert’s former bureau chief, will take the witness stand.



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