Former prime minister Ehud Olmert with lawyer in court 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The trial of former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his former bureau chief Shula Zaken resumed on Monday
in the Jerusalem District Court.
At this stage, witnesses for the defense
are being called to testify.
Monday’s hearing focused on the “secret
cashbox” that the prosecution allege Olmert kept between 2003- 2006.
prosecution alleges Olmert failed to report donations, including those made by
US businessman Moshe Talansky, to the State Comptroller, as required by
However, Olmert’s defense team told the court on Monday that
according to a 1999 legal opinion by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, political
donations made during “interim periods” between elections need not be
Olmert’s defense argued that opinion proves political funds
kept by Olmert and Messer were held legally, and there was no requirement to
Neeman may now be called to testify in the trial as a
defense witness, Channel 2 reported.
Ra’anan Dinur, the former head of
the Prime Minister’s Office and the Tourism Ministry, also testified as a
defense witness on Monday.
Among those also expected to testify over the
next two weeks are lawyer Ram Caspi, whom Olmert consulted regarding Talansky,
Olmert’s former campaign strategist, Roni Rimon, and Shaul Olmert, the former
prime minister’s son.
Two donors who donated to Olmert’s campaign fund
are also due to testify by video conference, but they will do so in closed-door
hearings, in line with a gag order imposed on their identities at Olmert’s