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Israel's Olmert to Face New Criminal Probe


Israel's attorney general has ordered a new criminal investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is facing two other police probes.

A Justice Ministry statement says the new probe will focus on political appointments made while Mr. Olmert was trade and industry minister. The police will also look into suspicions Mr. Olmert assisted his political friends in different public bodies.

The prime minister says the new investigation is unnecessary and will be closed without any results.

Last week, police questioned Mr. Olmert about allegations he tried to steer the sale of government-owned Bank Leumi in 2005 while he was acting finance minister.

Mr. Olmert also is under investigation for his purchase of a Jerusalem apartment in 2004. He allegedly received a discounted price in return for helping the builder obtain construction permits from the city government.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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