Bank Leumi case against PM may stay open

Sources in comptroller's office say state-attorney must weigh evidence not presented in police inquiry.

lindenstrauss 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
lindenstrauss 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The police's recent recommendation not to take Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to court in the Bank Leumi affair does not necessarily mean that the case will be closed, sources in the State Comptroller's Office said on Sunday. The sources said that State-Attorney Moshe Lador could reverse the decision upon studying evidence and findings which were not presented in the police investigation. "The material in the hands of the state-attorney will probably raise questions that did not exist in the police investigation," the sources said. "It is to be assumed that the... state-attorney will not only consider the results of the investigation but the entirety of the findings," they added. Police announced on November 29 that they did not think they had sufficient evidence to support allegations against him in the Bank Leumi affair. Despite rumors that some members of the investigative team believed that the evidence did support criminal proceedings against Olmert, police expressed a unified front when delivering the conclusion. The investigation was opened after former state comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss passed on to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz information regarding the alleged involvement of then-finance minister Olmert in the selling-off of the controlling share of Bank Leumi during the bank's privatization process. According to allegations, Olmert intervened in the 2005 sale on behalf of Frank Lowy and Daniel Abraham, two businessmen who were also personal friends of his. Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.