Israeli police grill Olmert over new campaign fund allegations

Police have opened a new investigation into the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, by questioning him over his alleged receipt of campaign donations from an American resident several years before he became Prime Minister.

Mr Olmert was questioned at his official residence about what his office said were donations raised by a United States citizen intended to fund elections for the mayoralty of Jerusalem and primary elections in the party he then belonged to, Likud.

Mr Olmert, a former mayor of Jerusalem, is already the subject of other investigations, including into allegations that he may have dispensed favours in return for a discount on the purchase of his private home in Jerusalem, and that he may have appointed allies to a state business authority while he was Industry minister.

In November, police recommended dropping a further investigation into allegations that he had tried to favour political supporters in the allocation of buyers during the privatisation of the Bank Leumi.

A statement from Mr Olmert's office said that he "answered all of the investigators' questions on the subject, and will continue to co-operate with all legal authorities to the extent he is required to do so".

It added that Mr Olmert was "convinced that with the discovery of the truth in the police investigation, the suspicions against him will dissipate".

Shelly Yacimovich, a Labour Knesset member, seized on news of the latest investigation to claim that the scope of the charges against Mr Olmert was "unprecedented". She told Army Radio that Mr Olmert should immediately suspend himself and added: "It has been proven beyond any doubt that the Prime Minister can't be under serial investigations and also suspected of crimes and also lead the country."

Mr Olmert, who is preparing for a series of events to mark Israel's 60th anniversary, is highly unlikely to take Ms Yacimovich's advice. Any decisions on a possible indictment by the prosecuting authorities is months away, at the earliest.

*The Israel Defence Forces said yesterday that the conclusions of an internal investigation into the killing of her mother and four young children in northern Gaza this week confirmed its earlier account that the deaths had been caused by a "secondary" explosion from "weaponry and ammunition" carried on the backs of two gunmen hit by Israeli forces.

IDF expressed "sorrow" at the civilian deaths but said the gunmen had been endangering civilian lives by operating near them.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk