shula zaken 248 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi )
prime minister Ehud Olmert's alleged involvement in the Holyland real
estate scandal was set to take another twist on Wednesday, with the
lawyer for Shula Zaken, the ex-premier's former aide, expected to give
a "dramatic" press conference.
Army Radio reported that Attorney
Micha Fetman, who has met Zaken in the US in recent days, was due to
respond to claims of her alleged involvement in the affair, and could
speak of the possibility of Zaken testifying against Olmert.
Meanwhile three other suspects in the case were released to 10 days house arrest
Wednesday after appealing to the Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court against their remands. Businessmen Hillel Charni and Avigdor Kelner, as well as former city
Uri Sheetrit, will be under restrictions, which include a ban on leaving the country.
Olmert is set to be interrogated this week, and his spokesman Amir Dan told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday evening that police would not notify the ex-prime minister of plans to question him until a few hours before is takes place.
“They won’t coordinate it with us ahead of time,” Dan said.
was mayor of Jerusalem when plans for an enlarged Holyland residential
complex were approved by the municipality – a procedure police say was
driven by widespread bribery.
The former prime minister is
suspected of accepting large bribes from project backer Charni, in
exchange for helping to ensure that the construction plans received
approval. Olmert has denied all allegations against him.
Monday, the Petah Tikva District Court rejected an appeal by former
deputy mayor and current city councilman Eliezer Simhayoff against the
decision last week by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court to extended
his custody by eight days.
Simhayoff was arrested last week on suspicion of demanding and receiving
hundreds of thousands of shekels in bribes. Police said he “divided the
cash between himself and others in the municipality.”
attorney, Moshe Osditsher, argued that there was no logic in holding his
client in custody “while the main suspects in the case have been
released,” referring to the recent release to house arrest of former
Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupalionski and Holyland company accountant Eliyahu
Judge Avraham Tal of the Petah Tikva court upheld the
remand extension, saying classified case material made available to him
by police showed that Simhayoff’s alleged role in the affair was
unrelated to those of the suspects who had been released, and that there
was no sound basis for releasing him.