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Israeli Police Recommend Indicting PM Olmert

Israeli police investigators are recommending the prime minister face charges in a corruption scandal. Robert Berger reports from the VOA bureau in Jerusalem.

Police say there is enough evidence to indict Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two corruption cases. They say Mr. Olmert illegally accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from an American Jewish businessman, and double and triple-billed institutions for public trips abroad.

This allegedly occurred over a 15-year period when Mr. Olmert was a Cabinet minister and mayor of Jerusalem.

Israeli legal analyst Dan Eisenberg says the final decision on an indictment rests with Israel's attorney general, and that could take awhile.

"There are predictions that he will make a decision within two weeks, but the truth is that even if he does, it will be a conditional recommendation because he will still have to grant a hearing to Olmert and that will take months, one way or another, so we are still a long way from a final decision," said Dan Eisenberg.

Mr. Olmert denies wrongdoing, but under pressure from the public and his own political party, he already planned to resign later this month.

But under Israel's complicated system of government, he could remain in office as caretaker prime minister for many months. Mr. Olmert says he will continue to work for a breakthrough in peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria until his last day in office.