Zaken in damage control as she resumes Holyland testimony

Zaken reportedly sought to mitigate damaging statements she had made to police about her former boss and his brother, Yossi Olmert.

October 21, 2013 05:47
Shula Zaken

Shula Zaken 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s bureau chief, Shula Zaken, began her third week of testimony in the Holyland trial on Sunday by trying to mitigate damaging statements she had made to police about her former boss and his brother, Yossi Olmert, according to a News1 report.

One of the key accusations against Ehud and Zaken is that one or both had asked the state’s main witness, Shmuel Duchner, to pay Yossi $500,000 for his debts as a bribe to get Ehud’s cooperation in smoothing over legal and zoning barriers to the Holyland project in south Jerusalem.

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During questioning, police asked Zaken to confirm whether Duchner had told her to update Ehud about the assistance given Yossi, and whether she had angrily responded, “it would be better if he covered his own debts,” as Duchner had told the police.

Zaken responded that “it was possible.” Questioned by the prosecution in court as to whether that comment confirmed her and Ehud’s involvement in the alleged Holyland bribery and fraud scheme, Zaken said that her statement to police should be ignored because she had responded after days of especially stressful interrogation, said the News1 report.

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