Police Commissioner David Cohen lashed out at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Tuesday night and said he should look at himself instead of the police to find out who leaked details on the criminal investigation against him to the media. Cohen also rejected the Prime Minister's charges that the police are incompetent.
Prime Minister Olmert, whose long political career is in serious jeopardy due to strong suspicions of fraud and breach of public trust, recently complained that the police were "pumping the media and endlessly leaking [information]." He accused the investigators of "waging a media war that deviates from any acceptable norm that would otherwise characterize a decent police force."
At the height of the probe, he asserted, "I am acting in a statesmanlike way, and you are constantly leaking details from the investigation."
Cohen lashed out at the Prime Minister while speaking at a memorial ceremony for fallen policemen. "The police insist on fairness and responsible reporting, and anyone accusing [us] of strong leaks should examine his own surroundings," he stated.
Anyone accusing [us] of strong leaks should examine his own surroundings.
Recent media leaks have charged American businessman Morris Talansky with contradictions between what he told police investigators and what he said at a court hearing. The leaks, apparently originating from attorneys for Prime Minister Olmert, indicate that their defense is very weak, police sources said.
The investigation, the fifth criminal probe against Prime Minister Olmert in two years, reached a climax last week when Talansky testified that he personally forwarded to the Prime Minister envelopes stuffed with well over a hundred thousand dollars. Talansky also testified that he paid more than $4,000 for Olmert and his wife's three-night hotel stay at a posh Washington hotel, as well as for their lodging in a luxury New York hotel.
Cohen defended police investigators against the Prime Minister's charges of incompetency. He said, "This is a sensitive complicated investigation being carried out by skilled professional investigators, while accompanied by the state prosecutor and the attorney general."
The probe is continuing this week in the United States, where investigators are questioning at least one billionaire who gave Prime Minister Olmert cash and are seeking information on cash withdrawals and transfers.