Defense trips up state’s witness in Holyland affair

Defense attorney Giorda Aderet sets up S.D. with a line of questions about whether Kollek was involved in the Holyland project.

Holyland 390 (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
Holyland 390
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
Defense attorney Giorda Aderet on Thursday tripped up the state witness in the Holyland trial about Teddy Kollek’s involvement in the Holyland project.
Aderet represents Hillel Cherny, one of 15 defendants, including former prime minister Ehud Olmert, and has been catching the state witness, known only as S.D., under a gag order, in contradictions and memory lapses all week long.
But this memory lapse was one of the most notable.
Aderet set-up S.D. with a line of questions about whether Kollek was involved in the Holyland project.
S.D. responded that Kollek had basically had nothing to do with it, that they really had not spoken about it and that Kollek had essentially sent an aid to deal with S.D. on the issue.
Despite repeated detailed questions and opportunities to change his story, S.D. stuck to his position that Kollek had basically nothing to do with the project.
That was until Aderet sprung the trap, revealing to S.D. that S.D. himself had in detail accused Kollek of being another personality involved in the Holyland project.
According to S.D.’s statements to the police, Kollek implied at a meeting in 1992 that he would support the project if S.D. arranged for donations to the Israel Museum and some other institutions.
None of the donations would go directly to Kollek, but as S.D. had never met with Kollek before, and Kollek brought up the issue in the same conversation as their meeting in-person about the Holyland project, S.D. said it was clear that Kollek was connecting the two issues.
Subsequently, Kollek lost his attempt at reelection and so S.D. did not actually make any of the donations.
However, from S.D.’s statements to police, had Kollek won reelection, the donations would have been made, as Kollek had already made implied commitments and sent a surrogate to review the area where the Holyland project was due to be built.
S.D. did the best he could to explain the memory lapse, but ultimately did not have much to say beyond that “these facts don’t matter” and what matters is what he remembers about all of the defendants actually in the case “taking bribes.”