Monday, July 21, 2008

Just In Case You Missed This Loan to Olmert

Not this one:-

When investigators from the National Fraud Unit, headed by Commander Brig. Gen. Shlomi Ayalon, arrived at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on Friday, May 23 and interrogated him on suspicion of receiving cash from American businessman Morris Talansky, they presented Olmert's secret declaration of assets, which he had submitted to the state comptroller in 2003, in accordance with the law. The report mentioned a $75,000 loan from Elmaleh to Olmert. The records showed that this hefty loan was given to Olmert on January 1, 1993, while he was serving as an opposition MK and several months before he beat Teddy Kollek and was elected mayor of Jerusalem. The investigators discovered that the loan had yet to be returned.

During the interrogation, Olmert was asked several tough questions. "Why didn't you return the loan to Elmaleh?" the investigators wondered. The prime minister claimed that the payment date had not yet arrived, despite the fact that over 15 years had passed since he received the loan. By saying that, Olmert in effect confirmed that he has not returned a single dollar to Elmaleh. The value of the loan today, if we calculate linkage, annual interest and the change in the dollar exchange rate, is about $150,000, or about half a million shekels... July 2004 Olmert turned to Elmaleh and asked him to sign the paper, which is now in the hands of police investigators. The document says: "As deputy prime minister I have been asked by State Comptroller Eliezer Goldberg to confirm the following facts with you: The original loan that I took from you on January 1, 1993 was for $75,000. The conditions of the loan were linkage plus 3 percent interest, and we agreed that I would pay you the money whenever you asked for it. The value of the money in July 2004 is about $140,000. From here on in it is agreed that if you do not request the money I will return it to you in full in January 2009."

This one:-

...In 1981 Olmert, then a Likud MK, received a loan for $50,000 from a straw company owned by Yehoshua Halperin, who was chairman of the Bank of North America. The bank's money was transferred to the company on Halperin's instructions. The loan Olmert received was discovered only four years later, in the context of a police investigation against Halperin, which was initiated at the time of the bank's resounding collapse.

In Olmert's testimony at Halperin's trial - at the time, Olmert was still seen as a fighter against corruption - he confirmed that he had intervened as a "friend" in Halperin's favor with the head of the National Fraud Unit, Brig. Gen. Yoram Gonen, and tried to convince Gonen to modify the injunction preventing Halperin from leaving the country. When asked whether Halperin had requested that he return the money, Olmert said: "He never picked up the phone and said: 'Ehud, you took out a loan, why don't you return it?' or 'You have to return it,' or 'When is the date for returning it,' or anything like that. No." The attorney general, Yoseph Harish, decided not to indict Olmert. The loan, as is known, has not been returned.


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