Police finish grilling PM on Bank Leumi

Questioning recorded; PM last to be questioned in affair, denies allegations of impropriety.

October 9, 2007 06:58
1 minute read.
frank lowy 88 298

frank lowy 88 298. (photo credit: )


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Police questioned Prime Minister Ehud Olmert under warning at his Jerusalem residence on Tuesday about his role in a public tender for the controlling stake in Bank Leumi in 2005, when Olmert served as finance minister. Olmert is under investigation on suspicion that he interfered with the terms of the sale to make it more advantageous to a personal friend, Australian businessman Frank Lowy. In the end, Lowy did not bid for shares in the bank. The officers questioning Olmert were National Fraud Squad head Lt.-Cmdr. Shlomi Ayalon, head of police financial investigations Dep.-Cmdr. Eran Kamin, and Lt.-Cmdr. Einat Glotman. The session was being documented and recorded. Olmert was the last person to be questioned in the investigation, which was opened on January 16. Israel Police officers questioned Lowy in Australia in early May. Olmert, who has cleared all appointments on Tuesday and Thursday, when the questioning is expected to continue, has denied any impropriety. Following the questioning, police will decide whether to recommend that the state press criminal charges. "The prime minister is confident that at the end of investigation, it will emerge that all the decisions taken with regard to the privatization of bank Leumi were professional and taken judiciously following consultations with relevant sources, and that his actions were above reproach," the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement ahead of the questioning.

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