Rishontours: Risby-Raz says no chance of fair trial

While testifying in corruption case against former PM Olmert and Shula Zaken, witness accuses court of injustice: "Something stinks in this trial."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 14, 2010 14:49
1 minute read.
Rishon Tours witness Rachel Risby-Raz.

311_Risby-raz. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Rachel Risby-Raz broke down in tears at what she considered injustice in the Israeli court system while giving testimony in the Rishontours corruption trial against former prime minister Ehud Olmert and his bureau chief Shula Zaken at the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday. Risby-Raz, Olmert's former foreign relations coordinator, was giving testimony on the details of an alleged scam in which charities providing funding for the former prime minister's flights abroad were being double and triple-billed.

Risby-Raz accused a prosecutor's aide of leaking an original case document to the media. Prosecutor Uri Korb denied the allegation.

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"How do you know it didn't happen? You weren't there," responded Risby-Raz. "That helps prove my statement that I have no chance of getting a fair trial. Something stinks in this trial...I see that there is no justice or logic in this trial."

After being told by the court president that she was speaking in an improper manner, Risby-Raz began to cry and the court took a recess of several minutes.

The witness later apologized saying that she was disappointed in the justice system.

Risby-Raz has expressed concern about her testimony in the court and her statements given to police investigators incriminating her in the corruption case.  Last week she was declared a hostile witness after testimony she had given in court contradicted statements she had made to police two years ago during her interrogation.



On Monday, Risby-Raz testified that Olmert and Zaken were responsible for determining which organizations would provide funding for Olmert's flights abroad. She also said that Zaken was aware that organizations were being double-billed for flights but she could not say for certain if Olmert was aware of the discrepancies.

Dan Izenberg contributed to this report


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