Attorney General Menachem Mazuz delayed his decision on whether to open the probe for months, even though Zaken's documents were already in the prosecution's hands. He finally ordered the probe in October 2007.
Mazuz issued a statement saying that he decided to open the probe following Haaretz Magazine's expose about the give-and-take relations between Olmert and Messer. Earlier this week, Channel 2's Fact program said that in the summer of 2006, immediately after Haaretz's expose of Olmert's involvement in advancing Messer's clients' interests, Messer took the money out of his office safe and returned it to Zaken.
The prosecution held on to Zaken's memorandums for months without giving them to the police investigation team. Only this March, following the intervention of Haaretz and Yisrael Hayom, did the police obtain the memorandums from Zaken's computer in the Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry and begin to examine the new suspicions.
What memos you ask?
the fraud squad seized several of these documents, described only as memorandums, several weeks ago from Zaken's computer in the Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry. Zaken was Olmert's bureau chief when he was minister there a few years ago.
In one of the documents, written in September 2005, Zaken wrote the names of Attorney Uri Messer and businessman and fund-raiser Morris Talansky, who is suspected of bribing Olmert with hundreds of thousands of dollars. Dates and sums of money appear beside each name.
"Messer has 274,000 - 1.6.2005," "30.6.05 I gave Uri 23,950 from Talansky. Talansky owes 6,500, 12.08. I gave Uri 7,500 from Talansky," Zaken wrote.
Another memorandum Zaken wrote in April 2006, a month after Olmert was elected prime minister, says: "Ask Uri Messer - new year. Last year I received 30."
By the way, Uriel Messer's wife, Davida Lahman-Messer (Didi), is Mazuz's deputy and Mazuz's sister, Yemima, is just now moving over to Tenuva from the position she held for the past 12 years as Legal Advisor to the Treasury Ministry, whose former Minister was Avraham Hirschson who is being charged for theft.
a few weeks ago, Israeli officials told their counterparts at the State Department that they planned to begin the negotiations, which are being mediated by Turkey.
“They weren’t asking our permission,” one senior administration official said. Another Bush official characterized the Israeli announcement as “a slap in the face.” But he said that United States officials believed that Mr. Olmert made the decision with his own domestic political considerations in mind: He is facing several criminal investigations involving events before he became prime minister in 2006, but while he was serving in government.