Olmert Scandal Will "Shake The Country"
by Hillel Fendel
30 Nissan 5768, 05 May 08 05:42

(IsraelNN.com) Staffers in the Attorney General's office said Monday, according to Army Radio, that the findings in the latest Olmert scandal collected thus far will "shake the country when they are revealed."

The sources said that the media blackout on the details of the investigation against Olmert would be partially lifted by Tuesday, "in accordance with developments."

In response to a request by Israeli media to allow them to publicize details of the latest criminal investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz said Sunday night, "We will closely and constantly follow the new investigation of the Prime Minister, and we will publicize details as early as possible."

The media request cited the "public's right to know," but Mazuz, together with the State Prosecutor and the Chief Detective of Israel Police, decided that a successful investigation is more important.

"True," the three wrote, "a situation in which the Prime Minister is questioned by police under caution, but the public is not given even general information about the suspicions and suspects, arouses difficulties from a public standpoint, as well as a legal standpoint. This is clear."

"At the same time," they continue, "it is important to clarify that, as opposed to the public's right to know, there is also the vital public interest of not harming the chance to get at the truth."

Police Chief Dudi Cohen said the same on Sunday afternoon: "What is good for the investigation takes precedence over the public's right to know. The special team that is investigating the Prime Minister must be allowed to work quietly in order to thoroughly complete the process."

The Yediot Acharonot daily newspaper, Israel's largest, is reportedly facing a police investigation of its own, after it published details of the investigation on Friday morning. Various reports have hinted that it concerns suspicions of illegal campaign donations or bribery from an American businessman. Olmert himself has called the various reports "vicious rumors." Olmert’s long-time close aide, Shula Zaken, was questioned on Sunday under caution for the third time; she has maintained her right to remain silent all three times, and is being held under house arrest until Friday. Channel 2 Television News quoted senior sources Sunday night as saying that the case was moving quickly toward an indictment.%ad%

The announcement by Mazuz and colleagues stated, "The unusual circumstances of the present case necessitated an urgent investigation of the Prime Minister and a gag order on all its details. The court issued the order after it was convinced of its necessity."

"In light of the obvious sensitivity," the statement continued, "and in light of the legal and public ramifications of this investigation, a special effort is being made by all those involved to hurry it as much as possible."


Original article: Israel National News
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