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Olmert backers supportive amid fraud case

Olmert backers supportive amid fraud case
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert looks up as sirens signal a two-minute silence for war dead and terror victims at the start of the state Memorial Day ceremony at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on May 7, 2008. The Israeli leader is at the center of a bribery scandal, with the New York Post naming American financier Morris Talansky as having passed cash to Olmert when he was mayor of Jerusalem in the 1990's. (UPI Photo/David Silverman/POOL) | License Photo

JERUSALEM, May 11 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert gained support Sunday from political allies as pressure mounted for him to resign amid a fraud scandal, officials said.

Israeli justice officials Thursday said Olmert received fraudulent payments from New York philanthropist Morris Talansky while the prime minister served as the mayor of Jerusalem and industry minister in the 1990s.

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Members of Olmert's Kadima party Sunday stood by him, saying he is presumed innocent, Ynetnews.com said.

"The prime minister, like any other citizen, has the right of innocence. He is innocent until proven guilty," said Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz.

Olmert has denied breaking any laws and has said he would resign immediately if the investigation produced an indictment.

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