8 Sep 2008

Charges recommended against Israeli PM

7:26 am on 8 September 2008

Israeli police said on Sunday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should face criminal charges.

Police said they have evidence showing that he illegally received money from a US businessman and made duplicate claims for travel expenses while he previously served as mayor of Jerusalem and trade and industry minister.

Mr Olmert has denied any wrongdoing.

A police statement said the recommendation, which is non-binding, included charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering and breach of public trust.

Mr Olmert intends to resign after the Kadima party holds a leadership vote on 17 September.

One case involves a New York-based fundraiser Morris Talansky who testified in an Israeli court in May he had given Mr Olmert $US150,000 in cash-stuffed envelopes over a 15-year period.

The second case deals with allegations that Mr Olmert double billed trips abroad with public institutions and used the extra money to fund private trips for himself and his family.