Olmert to fly back to Israel

Former PM: I'll return right on schedule, after preplanned meetings.

olmert at court 311 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
olmert at court 311 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
After denying on Saturday night that he was in any way connected to the Holyland project scandal in which his close friend and attorney Uri Messer has been named as a suspect, former prime minister Ehud Olmert announced on Sunday morning that he would be returning to Israel in the coming days.
“I reject all the allegations that have been raised and unambiguously hinted at,” Olmert told Army Radio while on a visit to Madrid. “If someone would like to meet me and interrogate me following my return to Israel - I will cooperate, as I always have.”
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The former prime minister said that he had left the country several weeks previously “for a preplanned series of meetings,” and would be making the return trip at the end of the week, “according to plan.”
He added that he was “intimately familiar” with all the facts pertaining to his case and his past actions as mayor and minister. This latest development, he said, was “part of an astounding and questionable campaign of hints” aimed at discrediting him. “My lawyers met twice with the District-Attorney this week to discuss matters connected, among other things, to the allegations, and there wasn’t even a sliver of an indication that I am to be investigated,” he told the radio station.
“I am disturbed by the atmosphere, by the attempts to harm and the attempts to make [me] feel chased,” Olmert reportedly said.
On Saturday, Olmert denied that he was connected in any way to the Holyland project scandal, saying he had been surprised by the latest developments, in whichsix suspects, including Messer, wereremanded in custody last week.
They and others are under investigationin connection with suspicions of bribery and illegal payoffs involvingthree real-estate affairs, including the massive Holyland project inJerusalem, which was approved while Olmert was mayor of the capital.