Orlev illness postpones PM's hearing on Silicate scandal

Olmert allegedly influenced Investment Center decision to grant friend $10 m.

July 2, 2007 02:29
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Head of the State Control Committee Zevulun Orlev was hospitalized with chest pains overnight Sunday, postponing Monday's hearing into the suspicions against Prime Minster Ehud Olmert in the Investment Center scandal. Orlev was being treated in Rambam Hospital in Haifa. In April, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss disclosed that Olmert may have been guilty of criminal behavior by taking an active part in an Investment Center decision to provide a $10-million grant to a company represented by close friend, former business partner and personal lawyer, Uriel Messer, for the construction of the Silicate factory in Dimona. The decision to provide the grant to the company represented by Messer was made under the previous government, when Olmert served as industry, trade and labor minister. Lindenstrauss and Olmert were both scheduled to attend Monday's hearing. Army Radio reported that Olmert had delayed his appearance before the committee for an extended period of time, adding that Orlev threatened to summon the prime minister with a special injunction if he failed to attend Monday's hearing.

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