Israel’s Justice Ministry has announced that the state prosecutor has ordered the opening of a criminal investigation into Ehud Olmert. This concerning his role in the 2005 privatisation of an Israeli bank, Bank Leumi. Olmert’s office has made no official comment.
Investigators are said to be looking into allegations that Olmert promoted the interests of two businessmen in the state sale of the bank. Neither of the men, described in the media as close friends, purchased the bank, and Olmert has denied any wrongdoing. Olmert was the finance minister at the time of the sale, in the government of Ariel Sharon.