Bank of Israel governor testifies in Olmert probe

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer gave the police a testimony regarding the sale of Bank Leumi shares, as part of the recently begun investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday. Two of the main allegations against Olmert regard the tender for the state's controlling interest in Bank Leumi. According to the allegations, Olmert tried to tip the balance of the tender in favor of friends after becoming finance minister, and failed to declare that he had a conflict of interest although he was related to a partner in a law firm representing the bidders. Sources in the investigation said that investigators hearing Fischer testify from his home in Jerusalem had contrasting opinions about the implications of his testimony on the case. However, police later denied having interviewed the Bank of Israel governor, raising the likelihood that Fischer gave the testimony voluntarily.