Olmert on trial: 'I felt a terrible insult, I felt rage'

During corruption trial, former prime minister slams media and law enforcement for treatment, admits presence of wiretaps.

June 2, 2011 16:55
1 minute read.
Ehud Olmert arrives at J'lem court for trial

Olmert arriving at trial 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Former prime minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday during his testimony in his corruption case at the Jerusalem District Court that he did not accept bribes.

"I did not accept a bribe from Talansky. I did not hide a bribe from Uri Messer. I said it to the investigators and I'll say it today," Olmert said, yelling and banging on a table.

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Olmert takes to the stand in ongoing corruption trial
Olmert: I am fighting for my life

lmert also said that the State Attorney is turning him into a "serial criminal," during testimony. Olmert said that he does not understand why it was publicized every time the State Attorney's Office considered investigating his actions.

"I don't remember when [the State Attorney] became the public loudspeaker for every little thing that was said," Olmert said.

Olmert also expressed feelings of rage and betrayal related to the handling of his case. Law enforcement officers who promised him a gag order when he was first indicted, he said, "deceived me ... and acted in violation of the rules of a civilized society."

Olmert was furious that journalists were present at his questioning, which he took as a surprise. "I felt a terrible insult," said the former prime minister. "What, no limit? I felt rage, a terrible affront."

During his questioning, Olmert also acknowledged that he was aware he had been wiretapped, and also that he had previously told incorrect things to investigators.

Olmert also discussed the capture of soldier Gilad Schalit during his tenure as prime minister, calling it a "traumatic event."

Olmert said: "Schalit still isn't with us. It's a difficult issue."

He added that the government "did things that we can't talk about" to try to return the captive soldier to Israel.

He also referred to a military operation, which he authorized but could not speak about.

Olmert took the stand in his corruption trial for the first time on Tuesday.

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