Olmert skips State Control meeting, again

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert angered the Knesset State Control Committee on Monday when he failed to show up for a meeting on criminal allegations made against him. It was the second time that Olmert had skipped the panel's meetings, although he himself requested that the state comptroller look into the allegations. "This trend of snubbing the committee is unacceptable. If Olmert misses the next meeting I will take action and subpoena the prime minister," said Committee Chairman Zevulun Orlev (NU-NRP). According to the Basic Law: Knesset, the State Control Committee can issue a warrant requiring anyone being probed by the panel to appear before it. Olmert had been scheduled to attend Monday's meeting, but canceled at the last moment without providing an explanation. The move was slammed as "disrespectful" by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss and Orlev, both of whom have frequently clashed with Olmert. Olmert's office has already said that the prime minister would attend a meeting scheduled for July 2, but panel members said they had no faith in his "RSVP." "I want to remind you that the last time Olmert appeared before this committee was before he became prime minister, in June 2006," said Orlev. In October 2006, Olmert failed to attend the committee's session on the State Comptroller's Report regarding political appointments made by Olmert while he was minister of industry, trade and labor. At the time, he said that he had an urgent security meeting to attend.