Trial against ex-Israeli PM begins

Feb. 25, 2010 at 8:42 AM
| License Photo

JERUSALEM, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Prosecutors expressed confidence Thursday evidence would prove former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was guilty of fraud, tax evasion and breach of trust.

Defense attorneys countered that the prosecution knows its evidence was inadequate to prove its case against Olmert, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Olmert's trial opened Thursday in the Jerusalem District Court. He was indicted for fraudulent receipt of goods, false registration of corporate documents, fraud, breach of trust, tax and tax evasion on three different issues.

"The accused has claimed that he did not know what was going on and that he didn't get into the details," Jerusalem District Attorney Eli Abarbanel said. "We'll see that his memory is actually very good, way above average."

Among other things, Olmert, 64, is accused of being involved in a scheme to double bill for travel, illegally receiving cash payments from a Jewish-American businessman, intervening in certain business grant applications and providing false testimony to the state comptroller regarding a loan and the true worth of a pen collection.

Olmert's attorney, Eli Zohar, said, "It's hard to deal with the difficult feeling and imbalance between the scale of the investigation on the one hand and the (low) level of the accusations that we are left with on the other."

Olmert's former aide, Shula Zaken, also was on trial Thursday, the Post said. She faces charges in the travel and illegal cash investigations, as well as charges of eavesdropping on Olmert's conversations.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Ehud Olmert
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
Sean 'Diddy' Combs avoids felony rap for attacking UCLA coach
New Elvis stamp features a more toned-down King of Rock 'n' Roll