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A-G to check allegations against Olmert
DAN IZENBERG
10/31/2005
Reporter accuses Olmert of appointing Likud members to top Bezeq jobs.
In response to a query on Monday, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz informed reporter Yoav Yitzhak that he was looking into a complaint against acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert that Yitzhak lodged three months ago. In July, police launched an investigation into political appointments allegedly made by Agriculture Minister Yisrael Katz in the wake of a critical report by the State Comptroller's Office on the Agricultural Ministry. In response to the investigation, Yitzhak wrote a report in his on-line newspaper "News First Class," charging that while he served as Minister of Communications, Olmert and his adviser, Oved Yehezkel, had made "many" political appointments to Bezeq, which Olmert was in charge of. Yitzhak's article was written on July 8 and he wrote that he was submitting documents involving three political appointments to Attorney General Menahem Mazuz with a request to open a criminal investigation against Olmert. On Monday, the day that appeared to be the eve of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's request to the Knesset to appoint Olmert Finance Minister, Yitzhak called the Attorney General's Office to inquire about his complaint. Afterwards, he wrote a report in News First Class saying "Mazuz has ordered an examination of the prima facie suspicion that…Olmert took advantage of his post…to advance the interests of Likud Central Committee members whom he wanted to please." Justice Ministry spokesman Ya'acov Galanti told The Jerusalem Post that Yitzhak was informed that his complaint was being examined, and added that the Justice Ministry had made no mention of words like "suspicion" or "criminal" with regard to Olmert's actions. Asked about Yitzhak's allegations, Olmert told Israel Army Radio, "I did not influence appointments in Bezeq. It was only natural that in the context of my appointment [to the treasury portfolio] reporters of Yoav Yitzhak's ilk would try to issue all kinds of reports." Yitzhak wrote that he had sent complaints regarding three Bezeq employees who had written to Olmert or his adviser, asking them to intervene in order to improve their work conditions. One of the cases allegedly involved Likud activist Edri Paltiel Aharon, a Bezeq technician, who wrote to Olmert, asking him to recommend to the company's general-manager, Amnon Dik, to promote him to a managerial job. Olmert's adviser, Yehezkel, allegedly asked a senior official in Bezeq to handle the request and wrote, "This is a delicate matter. Can you help? Please update me personally." Although Yitzhak said there had been many such appeals to Olmert, he submitted to the Attorney-General only the three he had published.
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