'Cracks seen in Holyland case witness's testimony'

Israeli media reports S.D. in Holyland corruption trial contradicted himself over amounts Olmert allegedly received in bribes.

The Holyland Tower in Jerusalem 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
The Holyland Tower in Jerusalem 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Cracks were revealed in the state witness’s version of events in the Holyland corruption trial on Tuesday, according to media reports.
According to the News1 website, the witness, known as “S.D.” under gag order, said that former prime minister Ehud Olmert received a total of NIS 1.5 million in bribes, but contradicted himself about the individual amounts.
He also said he did not remember any other details, such as whether the payments were made in cash or by check.
When challenged by a defense attorney over the fact that the witness did not seem to remember anything other than the total amount that Olmert received, the witness confirmed the accusation, responding “yes,” according to the report.
In light of trial developments in recent weeks, this contradiction only exacerbates previous holes in S.D.’s story that have been exposed on a daily basis. He has repeatedly not been able to remember key pieces of information, and time after time has made claims about the content of various documents only to later be forced to admit that he could not find the material in the documents in question.
S.D. was hospitalized a week ago, bringing the trial to a screeching halt. Prior to his health crisis, the trial had focused entirely on his testimony, delivered four days a week, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Originally, the court hoped S.D. would be out of the hospital by Thursday and that it would reduce the number of hours he needed to testify each day to about three.
The case involves one of the largest bribery and fraud schemes in the country’s history. It has implicated public officials in moving a large deluxe residential housing project forward in Jerusalem while overlooking various building and zoning regulations.