Ehud Olmert’s Attorney May Be Indicted for Alleged Zaken Bribe

YERUSHALAYIM -
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to press at the Jerusalem Supreme Court on December 29, 2015. Photo by Noam Moskowitz/POOL
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (Noam Moskowitz/POOL)

The State Prosecutor has informed Navot Tal-Tzur, attorney for former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, that he is being investigated and that charges may be filed against him. The charges would be filed after a hearing was held on his actions surrounding the Holyland scandal.

According to prosecutors, Tal-Tsur acted on behalf of Olmert to prevent his office director, Shula Zaken, from accepting a plea deal to testify against Olmert. Tal-Tzur may have offered Zaken a bribe or taken other steps to persuade her not to testify in order to neutralize her as a witness for the prosecution, the prosecutors said.

“Tal-Tzur met with Zaken and members of her family, without the knowledge of her attorney, to persuade her not to sign the plea arrangement and to influence her testimony. She was also offered monetary benefits in this context,” the prosecutors said.

Last week, the Prisons Service decided to limit the number of visits attorneys can pay to visitors, in the wake of what officials called the abuse of the system by Olmert. In prison for three and a half months so far, Olmert has been visited by attorneys 37 times, on visits that had nothing to do with his legal issues. Prison officials said that in most cases the purpose of the visits were not to consult with Olmert on his case, but just to pay a friendly visit. The new regulations limit prisoners to three weekly visits from their attorneys. Visits will be limited to 45 minutes.

Senior Service officials said that Olmert had “cynically used the system to create an unfair situation between himself and other prisoners.”