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Olmert Corruption Trial in Limbo Until Monday

Judge decides not to decide whether verdict to be announced as planned, leaving everyone in suspense until the morning.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/30/2014, 9:48 PM

Ehud Olmert and Shula Zaken
Ehud Olmert and Shula Zaken
Flash 90

Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen, who presides over the Holyland building project corruption trial in which ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert is a defendant, decided Sunday not to decide yet, whether he will announce his verdicts in the case Monday as planned, or not.

If he decides to put off the verdicts, it will be in order to allow co-defendant Shula Zaken, Olmert's longtime bureau chief, to introduce an audio recording that may considerably worsen his legal situation.

It is possible that verdicts will be read out regarding some of the defendants, or regarding all of them. It is seen as most likely that the verdicts regarding everyone except Zaken and Olmert will be read out.

The judge has summoned all of the defendants, including Olmert and Zaken, to the 9:00 a.m. Session – threatening them with arrest if they fail to do so.

It was reported last week that Zaken had been interrogated by police for more than six hours and had presented substantial proof of her claims against Olmert, in the form of an audio recording.

The new evidence is being presented just a few weeks after the prosecution decided not to sign a plea bargain with Zaken. That decision came after Zaken gave new testimony to the police, but prosecutors came to the conclusion that the new evidence she provided was not enough to assist their case against Olmert.

The audio recording is the most substantial evidence that has now been presented and would require that Olmert be interrogated again. However, the decision on whether to accept the new evidence is now up to the judge presiding over the case, and he has already announced that the verdict will be read next Monday.