olmert 298 ap.
(photo credit: AP [file])
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's attorney, Ro'i Blecher, speculated on Tuesday that despite Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz's decision to order a criminal investigation against his client over a Jerusalem apartment purchase, he did not believe the probe would lead to an indictment.
In an interview with Army Radio, Blecher added that the prime minister had no obligation to suspend himself.
"The prime minister won't suspend himself every time there's a state comptroller report that puts the attorney-general in a situation that's nearly impossible and requires a criminal investigation," he said.
Olmert's associates, meanwhile, expressed surprise at Mazuz's decision to launch a criminal probe, and shared Blecher's speculation that the prime minister would not be indicted.
According to the allegations, Olmert received favorable terms for the purchase of the home on Jerusalem's Cremieux St. in 2004, in return for helping the contractor who sold it to him.
Olmert is also under investigation for allegedly trying to tilt a public tender for ownership of core control of Bank Leumi on behalf of a business friend, Australian businessman Frank Lowy, while serving as finance minister. That investigation will commence after Succot.
Meanwhile, right-wing MKs were calling on Tuesday for Olmert's suspension, with Likud MK Yuli Edelstein even calling on Shas and Israel Beiteinu to leave the coalition early.
MK Shelly Yacimovich (Labor), meanwhile, declared that Mazuz's decision was further proof that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss was doing fundamental and courageous work, and that Olmert's attacks on him stemmed only from the fact that Lindenstrauss was exposing criminal cases in which Olmert was involved.