Israel's Olmert may face corruption charges
* Story Highlights
* Attorney General Menachem Mazuz says Olmert committed fraud
* Israeli prime minister allegedly took cash from U.S. businessman
* Olmert says money was legitimate campaign funding
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel's attorney general says he is considering charging
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with corruption over allegations he illegally
received funds from an American businessmen.
Attorney General Menachem Mazuz says Olmert committed fraud and breached
confidences when he allegedly used his then-position as mayor of Jerusalem to
help businessman Morris Talansky in 2006.
Olmert says the money he received was legal campaign funding.
Mazuz will decide whether to indict Olmert after the prime minister has had a
chance to refute the charges in a hearing before the attorney general. No date
has been set for that meeting.
Mazuz ordered an investigation in April 2008 into the relationship between
Olmert and Talansky. Talansky gave a colorful testimony last year, telling of
various times that he handed Olmert envelopes stuffed with cash. The testimony
badly damaged the already unpopular Olmert.
Israeli police recommended in September that Olmert be charged with corruption
over the Talansky case and the "Rishon Tours affair," in which Olmert was
accused of pocketing money for official travels. A hearing in the Rishon Tours
case is set for April.
Olmert announced days after the police recommendation that he would resign as
head of the Kadima party. Israelis went to the polls last month and Olmert is
now caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed.
-- CNN's Shira Medding contributed to this report.
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