'Olmert trial to resume on Thursday'

Court rejects prosecutors' request to delay evidence-discussion stage 3 months.

February 17, 2010 15:33
1 minute read.

Olmert. (photo credit: AP)

Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday rejected the state’s request to postpone the trial of former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his close aide, Shula Zaken, despite the fact that the chief prosecutor in the case, Uri Korb, has taken an indefinite leave of absence.

“The cancellation of so many dates for hearings of witness testimony will cause damage to the work of the court and could cause harm to litigants,” the judges – Jerusalem District Court President Moussia Arad, Jacob Saban and Moshe Sobel – wrote in their response to the request.

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“In this instance, the case is being conducted by teams of lawyers for both sides,” the judges continued. “This was meant to allow each side to find solutions for various situations in which one of the lawyers was unable to participate in the proceedings. The fact that a lawyer is missing does not necessitate the postponement of the trial.”

The first day of witness testimony was set for Monday, February 22, and the hearings were due to be held three times a week – on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. In order to make matters easier for the prosecution, the judges decided that during the first three weeks of the trial, hearings will be held only once a week, on Thursdays. For the following two weeks, they will be held twice a week. Starting on April 4, the hearings will be held as originally scheduled, three times a week.

Korb was forced to take a leave of absence because of denigrating comments he allegedly made about the judiciary, including Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch.

Korb is currently being investigated by the head of the disciplinary department of the Civil Service Commission. If the allegations against him prove to be well-founded, he could be place before a disciplinary tribunal.

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