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Israel police recommend dropping Bank Leumi corruption case against PM

[JURIST] Israeli police Thursday concluded a corruption investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official website; JURIST news archive], telling prosecutors at the Ministry of Justice [official website] that they do not believe there is enough evidence to indict Olmert on allegations that he illegally interfered [JURIST report] with the 2005 state sale of Bank Leumi [corporate website]. Olmert, then Minister of Finance, allegedly attempted to use his position to favor two of his associates in the sell-off of the bank's controlling interest. Israeli Attorney General Menahem Mazuz [official profile] will take the police recommendation under advisement before making a final decision on whether to prosecute Olmert.

Police repeatedly interrogated Olmert over his involvement in the bank sale last month, just as new allegations of misconduct broke. Olmert is still facing corruption investigations for allegedly purchasing an apartment at a substantially reduced price in exchange for helping a construction company obtain illegal building permits and for obtaining a government grant for an associate [JURIST reports] while he was Trade Minister. AP has more.

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