Avigdor Kelner .
(photo credit:Israel Police)
The state witness in the Holyland trial testified on Sunday that Avigdor
Kellner, former owner of Polar Investments and one of the main investors in the
Holyland project, offered him millions of shekels to stop cooperating with the
The state witness, known only as “S.D.” due to a gag order,
mentioned the incident while describing the events that led to his cooperation
with the state.
The Holyland case involves charges of bribery and fraud
against former prime minister Ehud Olmert and 15 other defendants, including
S.D. said his contact with the police started in fall 2009, when
he spoke with a retired police commander he knew named Aryeh Amit. He said he
did not want to enter through the front door of a police station and be treated
like a common state witness, and that it was important to him that he have some
guarantees on how he would be treated and benefits before he began to share what
As he started to cooperate with the police, S.D. said he
approached Kellner and asked him if he wanted to cooperate as well.
said Kellner looked at him as if he had “gone crazy.” Kellner told him he
would not be able to continue living “a normal life” or do business if he became
a turncoat like S.D. had done. Later, Kellner changed his mind, according
to S.D., but it was too late for him to be a state witness.
At an even
later stage, Kellner approached S.D.’s daughter, said the state witness, and
asked her to relay to S.D. that he would pay him millions of shekels to stop
cooperating with the police.
Kellner could not approach S.D. directly at
that point, as by 2010, the police had forbade S.D. from speaking directly with
any of the defendants.
S.D. did not accept the offer, but the additional
testimony, if accepted by the court, will hurt Kellner’s defense and may even
reflect poorly on other defendants – since it demonstrates there was something
to cover up.
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