Olmert's Former Friend: He Had to be Convicted

Journalist Dan Margalit says if court hadn't found former PM guilty of corruption there would have been an 'earthquake' in Israel.

Chaim Lev, Ari Yashar,

Dan Margalit
Dan Margalit
Yoni Kempinski

After the unanimous ruling Monday finding former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert guilty of corruption in the Morris Talansky case, the famous Israeli journalist and publicist Dan Margalit - who for many years was a friend of Olmert - said if the court had not found him guilty there would have been a huge backlash.

"The court proved this morning beyond all doubt that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is guilty," said Margalit in a Channel 2 interview. "My heart is with Olmert's attorneys. But I tell you that if the district court hadn't accepted the petition, there would have been an earthquake in the state of Israel."

Margalit noted that he had called for a petition back at the time of the original district court ruling which acquitted Olmert in the case, in which he was accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to advance the interests of the American Jewish businessman Talansky.

A petition was later submitted, and with the new evidence of recordings provided by Olmert's former aide Shula Zaken he was eventually found guilty.

"Back then I argued, that same morning (as the ruling - ed.), that a petition should be submitted," he recalled. "I thought then that he should be convicted. You didn't need the additional revelations. But this morning the court said its part."

Margalit concluded, "there's a large pyramid here of journalists and public figures who brought this justice. But we have to remember former State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, former State Attorney Moshe Lador, and the representative of the state attorney's office at the time."




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