Former prime minister Ehud Olmert (L) shakes hands with his defense minister, Ehud Barak.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert told a former aide who testified against him in court that another former premier, Ehud Barak, took millions of dollars in bribes as part of arms and weapons transactions, Channel 10 reported on Friday.
The television network obtained audio recordings of Olmert’s conversations with Shula Zaken, his onetime bureau chief who recently agreed to testify against her former boss in the Talansky graft trial.
In the tapes, Olmert is heard telling Zaken that Barak “has millions, tens of millions, stashed away in secret bank accounts in Switzerland, or somewhere.”
Barak served as Olmert’s defense minister after recapturing the Labor Party chairmanship in June 2007. The relationship deteriorated into acrimony in late 2008 when Barak threatened to pull his party out of Olmert’s coalition unless the premier resigned to answer a slew of corruption charges.
Olmert was recently convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the Holyland deal.
In the tapes played by Channel 10, Olmert and Zaken are overheard discussing legal strategy in preparation for court hearings in the Talansky and Rishon Tours affairs. The conversation between the two was recorded by Zaken in July 2011.
Channel 10 noted that there is no independent corroboration of Olmert’s allegations against Barak.