Following a Channel 2 report on Wednesday claiming that state prosecutors intend to invite a state witness to testify against former prime minister Ehud Olmert in the Holyland affair before any indictment is filed, the Justice Ministry confirmed that it has refused requests by Olmert's defense team to postpone a hearing in the case.
The Justice Ministry said in a statement late Wednesday night that Deputy State Attorney Shuki Lemberger told Olmert's defense team earlier in the day that their request for further postponement of the hearing in the Holyland case has been rejected.
"We note that Mr. Olmert's counsel has filed several requests to postpone hearings in the past which were granted by the prosecutor," the Justice Ministry said. "We regret that this letter was transferred to the media shortly afterit was given to defense attorneys. Among the reasons for denying the request was the need to hear testimony from a witness central to the case, and to make a decision on the case within a short time (note that there are 18 suspects). At this point, we cannot elaborate about the circumstances of the central witness whom the prosecution intends to request early testimony."
The former prime minister is one of 18 people being investigated over alleged bribery in connection with Holyland, a real estate development project in Jerusalem.
Olmert is also currently on trial in the Jerusalem district court for multiple corruption charges.