Israel's Olmert Faces New Criminal Probe

Other News Materials 14 October 2007 22:39

( Newsvinew ) - Israel's attorney general on Sunday ordered a new criminal investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on suspicion he granted improper political favors while serving as trade minister earlier this decade.

The announcement added to Olmert's political woes. Olmert last week was twice interrogated by police on suspicion he tried to rig the sale of Israel's second-largest bank in favor of two associates while he was finance minister.

In a statement, the Justice Ministry said Attorney General Meni Mazuz will investigate Olmert's actions in a government-funded grant program as well as "political appointments" during his term as trade minister. Israel's state comptroller, a watchdog agency, has said Olmert helped push through a grant for a business linked to a colleague as trade minister in 2001.