Uri Messer's testimony will cause difficulties for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the investigation of suspicions that the prime minister accepted large sums of money from US businessman Morris Talansky, legal officials were quoted as saying Friday.Okay, will he finally resign if it comes to that, or will he continue to be disrespectful of the law? On the other hand, I see that Ehud Barak is still stalling and biding for time, because as head of the Labor party, he's still slow to leaving:
Yediot Aharonot and Ma'ariv reported that Messer, Olmert's close associate and lawyer, had cooperated with the inquiry against the prime minister.
The officials told the newspapers that Messer was interrogated without turning state witness and that his testimony would also cause problems for Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken in the case.
During the past 10 days, Zaken has been questioned four times by police on the same affair. She has refused to answer questions on each occasion and has been placed under house detention, which was due to expire on Friday.
Zaken and Messer have both been implicated in a number of other allegations against the prime minister. Their alleged involvement in the new affair has not been fully explained.
On Thursday night, minutes after a court decision lifted the gag order that had been preventing any publication of the details of the case, Olmert said he has never taken a bribe or "a single agora" for himself, but that he would resign if the attorney-general decides to indict him as a result of the new police investigation.
"I hope and believe that we will not get to this stage," he said in a dramatic statement at his Jerusalem residence.
A police source said the funds in question were "very large," and were allegedly received over an extensive period of time, "both directly and indirectly." Hundreds of thousands of dollars are believed to be involved.
Following Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's speech as details of an ongoing investigation against him were finally publicized, opposition and coalition MKs were quick to call for his head.I think I'm going to have to take a moment to note how dismaying it is to see Yachimovich abusing the word "Zionist", which does mean nationalist, but if she's as much in favor of giving away Israel to a terrorist organization, then she's not being very Zionist herself, is she?
While Labor officials were quoted by Israel Radio as saying that the party would remain in the coalition until a final decision is made on whether to serve an indictment against the prime minister, Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel said Labor needed to reconsider its position in the coalition in light of the revelations.
"I do not see how Olmert can continue to lead the government in the current situation," Cabel told Israel Radio Friday.
Cabel also said Kadima was "obligated to do something" to stabilize the political establishment.
In addition, Shelly Yacimovich, one of Olmert's sharpest critics in Labor, announced that "the coalition partnership with Olmert has ended, as staying in a coalition headed by Olmert issued a stamp of approval for his corrupt actions. If Olmert has even a grain of Zionism and responsibility, he must resign immediately in view of the harsh allegations. While himself being suspected of criminal activity, Olmert is running a war against the rule of law."
Now as for Barak, it says that:
Labor's Young Guard demanded that Labor chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak promptly resign from the coalition. Representatives of the group warned that "if Labor does not withdraw from the coalition immediately, they will lose the public's trust in future elections."All he's doing is stalling out of his apparently being more interested in a government seat than in true responsibility. I suggest he start to rethink his position, because his colleagues are getting very restless.
However, Barak associates said the party would maintain a steady relationship with Olmert and that Labor would remain in the government until things become clearer, Army Radio reported.
Here's also YnetNews' report on the case.