Olmert cuts holiday due to Holyland

Former PM denies involvement in the real estate bribery affair.

April 14, 2010 17:19
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert talks to the pre

olmert court 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert has cut short his holiday in Spain and will return to Israel on Wednesday night due to his rumored involvement in the Holyland real estate bribery scandal, Army Radio reported Wednesday afternoon.

Olmert’s media adviser Amir Dan reiterated that the former prime minister denied all connection to the affair, but would cooperate fully with investigators should he be called in for questioning.

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It comes a day after the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court extended the custody of five suspects, including the former head engineer of the Jerusalem Municipality and a land developer, who were arrested earlier this month by police investigating the Holyland case.

According to police suspicions, between 1999 and 2008 the Holyland development company and associated land development projects, then owned by businessman Hillel Charni, paid tens of millions of shekels in bribes to senior public decision makers in the Jerusalem Municipality, members of its planning and construction committee, the Israel Lands Administration, and others, in exchange for their approval for the Holyland housing project in the capital and additional developments in the North.

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