PM Olmert may not stand in for finance minister in view of new allegations against him – State Attorney

Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been deputizing for Avraham Hirchson who suspended himself for three months to face the police probe into charges of theft and embezzlement as head of a sick fund in the 90s. The state attorney Menahem Mazuz informed the prime minister Thursday that it would be improper for him to stand in as finance minister for the whole three months, since he himself is under several investigations in his former capacity as trade, industry and labor minister in the Sharon government. Olmert was advised to fill the post with a suitable appointee.
Also Wednesday, Maj. Gen Gady Eisenkott, revealed that the Israeli army knew two hours after Hizballah raiders seized Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev on July 12, 2006, that there was no way to rescue them. Eisenkott was chief of operations at the general staff during the Lebanon War which the abductions sparked. This was another blow to Olmert’s credibility, as it contradicts Olmert’s oft-repeated motive for going to war as being to recover the captured men.
The general spoke out five days before the Winograd panel probing the widely-criticized management of the war releases its interim report on the first five days of the conflict.

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