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Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has baldly told The Jerusalem Post that State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is out to get him, prompting the latter to respond that "a person should not be judged in his moment of sorrow."
Olmert, referring to Lindenstrauss's various inquiries, characterized them as the "creations of a very tortured imagination of a person who set out for himself the target to remove the prime minister, on a personal basis. This is what we are talking about. He said this is his mission: To hit me. Like an asteroid."
Lindenstrauss, asked for a response, told the Post there was nothing personal in his inquiries, and that he was acting in strict accordance with the powers granted the state comptroller under the law.
Terming the state comptroller "a very, very different phenomenon," Olmert said it was "very strange" that in the course of one year, Lindenstrauss initiated some 15 inquiries against him.
According to Olmert, Lindenstrauss should be focusing on his performance while in the Prime Minister's Office, not what he did as Jerusalem mayor, health minister, or minister of industry and trade.
"There is not one single complaint against any of my actions in the Prime Minister's Office," Olmert said. "It's all history. Is it not strange?"
Olmert also attacked Lindenstrauss for leaks to the press. Saying he frequently received reports from the state comptroller with a cover letter terming the material "top secret," and that any leaks were punishable by law, Olmert said he wanted to answer him by saying, "Of course I will not leak it. Because if I leak it, what will you do? You're going to leak it, like you leak everything."
Lindenstrauss, in response, said Olmert was trying, in a "completely inappropriate and unsuitable" manner, to ignore the findings and the professional inquiries that his office was carrying out. He said these inquiries were carried out after receiving complaints from various sources, including at the highest levels of government.
"Instead of dealing with the findings," Lindenstrauss said, "Olmert in his excoriating manner is trying unsuccessfully to put a spoke in the wheel of the inquiries into matters relating to him."
Lindenstrauss said Olmert grossly exaggerated the number of investigations concerning him, and that the state comptroller was currently dealing with only two such affairs, neither of which dealt with the period when he was mayor.
"A person should not be judged in his moment of sorrow," Lindenstrauss said, "and we will all forgive the prime minister for his style and manner of speaking."
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