Olmert slams police for 'misleading' him

PM lashes out at investigators during recent questioning, says their conduct is "unfair."

Olmert cabinet 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
Olmert cabinet 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert lashed out at investigators during his questioning nine days ago, accusing them of attempting to mislead him and calling their conduct "unfair." According to a transcript of the conversation aired by Channel 10 on Friday, Olmert began his questioning session by confronting investigators over the many information leaks in the ongoing probe. "What has been happening in the last few days is intolerable in a state of law. You are flooding the media and leaking ceaselessly, waging a media battle beyond all accepted norms for a just police," the prime minister shot at the assembled police team. When Lt.-Cmdr Shlomi Ayalon attempted to interject, Olmert silenced him, saying: "I'm not done. Don't interrupt me, please." The prime minister continued: "You acted unfairly in the first investigation, trying to mislead me. You asked me questions on envelopes with money that I received from [Morris] Talansky. If you had asked me if Talansky covered - once or twice or three times, I don't remember how many - expenses on appearances that I made connected to issues he was involved in, I wouldn't have denied it for an instant." Olmert then demanded that his answers be written down as well as recorded. Ayalon rejected the proposal, saying it would considerably hamper the proceedings, which were already limited to one hour of the prime minister's time. The two then spent several minutes arguing over this point. Last Sunday police issued an official statement rejecting the allegations that they were behind the press leaks. "We firmly deny, and view with severity, any attempt to hold us responsible for the leaks from the investigation into the prime minister," the statement said. Last week, a former senior police investigator accused lawyers and spin doctors working for Olmert of leaking information on the probe into the premier, with a view to discrediting Talansky, the central witness in the case. "The prime minister's lawyers are feeding the media spin. It is not the police who are releasing details from Talansky's interrogations," said Cmdr. (ret.) Moshe Mizrahi, former head of investigations for Israel Police. Meanwhile, the status of Shula Zaken, Olmert's one-time bureau chief, suspected of illegally handling Talansky's money, remains undecided, after her attorney denied reports that she would testify to police.