Olmert, Zaken 370.
(photo credit: Pool / Olivia Fitosi)
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel sent a letter to the state on Sunday requesting that it reconsider its decision not to cut a plea bargain with Shula Zaken in the Holyland trial involving charges of bribery and fraud against former prime minister Ehud Olmert.
Olmert has vehemently denied the charges and has blasted Zaken, formerly his top aide, as well as the prosecution for continuing to tar his name in the media.
The Movement for Quality Government asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and State Attorney Shai Nitzan to cut a deal with Zaken to get her to testify against Olmert, and to allow the court to decide whether to accept her new round of testimony.
At the end of last week the prosecution ended speculation about whether Zaken – who has been a firewall for Olmert throughout all of the corruption charges brought against him in the past five years – would be offered a shorter jail sentence in return for testifying against him.
One of the reasons it cited for not seeking a deal was that it would be impossible to provide independent confirmations of her accusations.
The NGO rejected this stance, saying the prosecution had wanted Zaken to turn state’s witness earlier in the case, calling this proof that her testimony against Olmert could be valuable.
In deciding against a deal, the prosecution also noted the late stage of the case and implied that there would be significant legal difficulties in presenting the former aide’s allegations after she had previously testified under oath to a different version of events.