Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faced investigators from the National Fraud Unit Thursday morning for the first time since handing in his resignation to President Shimon Peres ten days ago, following the Kadima primary elections.
Police officers questioned the prime minister for the eighth time at his official residence in
The post-holiday interrogation reportedly focused on the sale of his house on
Thursday's session also allegedly covered questions about a separate case known as the
Investigators also reportedly tried to question the prime minister once more about the Rishon Tours case, another scandal in which he is suspected of illicitly receiving funds, but he refused to cooperate without first consulting his attorneys.
Olmert is alleged to have sent duplicate bills for the same trip to different organizations around the country and abroad, through the Rishon Tours travel agency. The company allegedly produced separate receipts for the same expenses for each funding source; the money it is suspected that the prime minister gained in this manner was allegedly deposited into a special account established by the company in his name, which was then used to fund dozens of private trips for himself and his family.
Police have said they believe they have enough evidence to recommend an indictment.
Olmert resigned after Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni replaced him as leader of his Kadima party in a primary election last month. Mounting evidence of financial wrongdoing and corruption probes plus pressure from the coalition combined to persuade the prime minister this past summer that it was time to agree to step down.
The final straw was the probe into allegations that he received at least $150,000 in cash-stuffed envelopes from American businessman Moshe (Morris) Talansky, a well-known philanthropist who spent decades raising money for