messer in his car 298.
(photo credit: Channel 10)
The High Court ruled on Sunday that Uri Messer, the longtime confidant and
right-hand man of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, will not stand trial for
his alleged involvement in the corruption scandals Olmert is currently standing
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The court rejected a petition submitted by anti-corruption
watchdog Ometz asking it to order the attorney-general and the Jerusalem district
attorney to explain the decision not to charge Messer for his role in the
corruption affairs, for which Olmert and his personal assistant Shula Zaken were
indicted. The investigation into Messer’s role in the affairs was dropped by the
State Attorney’s Office in November for lack of hard evidence.
petition, Ometz argued that since the state’s indictments against Olmert stated
that Messer played a substantial role in the transfer of funds from Morris
Talansky to Olmert, including managing a “secret safe” containing Talansky’s
cash, it was highly unreasonable that Messer not stand to trial too.
petition said that Messer ought to be tried even if based only on the material
that appears in Olmert’s indictment.
The state in its response asked for
the petition to be rejected out of hand. The State Attorney’s Office lawyers
argued that there was no room for the court to intervene in the
attorneygeneral’s decision not to indict Messer, a decision that was made after
a thorough examination of the evidence.
The state’s lawyers also argued
that the petitioners did not sufficiently differentiate between Olmert, who was
a senior public official during the relevant period, and Messer, who was a
The three-justice panel of Asher Grunis, Salim Joubran
and Neal Hendel decided, after hearing the sides, to reject the petition. In his
ruling, Justice Joubran wrote that it appeared that the state had thoroughly
examined and debated charging Messer, but decided against it, and that the
petitioners failed to convince the court that the attorney- general’s decision
was illegal or unreasonable.