'Kellner bribes witness with millions in Holyland'

State witness in Holyland trial testifies Avidgor Kellner of Polar Investments offered bribe to quit cooperating with state.

Avigdor Kelner  (photo credit: Israel Police)
Avigdor Kelner
(photo credit: Israel Police)
The state witness in the Holyland trial testified on Sunday that Avigdor Kellner, former owner of Polar Investments and one of the main investors in the Holyland project, offered him millions of shekels to stop cooperating with the state.
The state witness, known only as “S.D.” due to a gag order, mentioned the incident while describing the events that led to his cooperation with the state.
The Holyland case involves charges of bribery and fraud against former prime minister Ehud Olmert and 15 other defendants, including Kellner.
S.D. said his contact with the police started in fall 2009, when he spoke with a retired police commander he knew named Aryeh Amit. He said he did not want to enter through the front door of a police station and be treated like a common state witness, and that it was important to him that he have some guarantees on how he would be treated and benefits before he began to share what he knew.
As he started to cooperate with the police, S.D. said he approached Kellner and asked him if he wanted to cooperate as well.
S.D. said Kellner looked at him as if he had “gone crazy.” Kellner told him he would not be able to continue living “a normal life” or do business if he became a turncoat like S.D. had done. Later, Kellner changed his mind, according to S.D., but it was too late for him to be a state witness.
At an even later stage, Kellner approached S.D.’s daughter, said the state witness, and asked her to relay to S.D. that he would pay him millions of shekels to stop cooperating with the police.
Kellner could not approach S.D. directly at that point, as by 2010, the police had forbade S.D. from speaking directly with any of the defendants.
S.D. did not accept the offer, but the additional testimony, if accepted by the court, will hurt Kellner’s defense and may even reflect poorly on other defendants – since it demonstrates there was something to cover up.