First indictment due in Rishon Tours case

State prosecution says it will file charges against Olmert's former travel coordinator Rachel Raz-Risby.

olmert worried 224.88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
olmert worried 224.88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert's Australian-Israeli travel coordinator and Diaspora affairs adviser Rachel Rizby-Raz will be indicted for what state prosecutors claim is her role in the Rishon Tours affair, the prosecution announced on Monday. In the affair, Olmert has been accused of illegally double-billing charities and a government ministry for the same flights, sending them false receipts for travel expenses, and using the excess to pay for personal family travel. State prosecutors will seek to prove that Rizby-Raz played a role in double-billing and misleading the organizations which funded Olmert's travels. During a pre-indictment hearing, however, Rizby-Raz's lawyer, Gadi Tal, asked that the indictment be cancelled, arguing that his client was deliberately misled during the police investigation. "My central claim was that my client was robbed of her basic rights as a suspect, because she was wrongly told on several occasions that she was not a suspect," Tal told The Jerusalem Post. "In this way, she was not granted her right to silence or her right to an attorney. When law enforcement thought it had gotten what it could out of her, Rizby-Raz was told she was a suspect," he added. The prosecution rejected Tal's arguments, and prosecutor Uri Korev wrote that "there was sufficient evidence to place Rizby-Raz on trial."