The intervention was done in the middle of a police investigation – the police have information about the involvement of Olmert and Yehezkel – they aided the entrepreneur, so that he paid NIS 1.5 million, instead of tens of millions of NIS
Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his aide, Oved Yehezkel, took advantage of their positions and aided in decreasing the assessment that had been set for a private entrepreneur, Ezra Aloni, in violation of regulations and against the public interest, so Nfc has learned. The assessment was issued by the Israel Lands Administration, that is headed by Olmert, for the construction activity of the A. S. P. Y. Corporation Ltd, headed by Aloni, by means of the Modi’in District Regional Council, for whom the contractor was working, and who guaranteed to the Lands Administration the payment of monies (royalties for use of the land and/or a license to use the land) that the contractor/entrepreneur was supposed to pay. The bottom line: the original assessment was reduced from tens of millions of NIS to only NIS 1,500,000, and that for only 92 dunams (about 23 acres) of land. Olmert and Yehezkel authorized this, despite opposition by senior officials in the Israel Lands Administration. These actions were conducted during the middle of a criminal investigation against the entrepreneur on this issue. This thereby prevented the collection of the realistic payment from the contractor’s company, that actually holds some 428 dunams (107 acres), and that should have paid more than NIS 100,000,000. The matter is now in the hands of the Israel Police Economic Crime Unit, that is investigating the affair of the garbage dump at the Bareket site. Despite this, and despite the information possessed by the investigators, and the progress made in the investigation, Olmert and Yehezkel were not even summoned to give testimony in the affair.
At this stage, the command level of the Unit has not yet decided if and when Olmert will be questioned, despite the investigation raising a suspicion against the two, as will be detailed later on. Furthermore, Nfc has learned that certain activities that were to be done by the police have been put on hold at this stage – “until after the elections.” Attorney General Manny Mazuz, who is the official authorized to approve the investigation of a government minister, has still not been updated on this matter. The Economic Crime Unit issued this response: “The Unit did not investigate the suspected involvement of Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in anything pertaining to the investigation of the Bareket garbage dump. The Economic Crime Unit is a police unit in the Investigations and Intelligence Division, the management of whose investigations are governed by professional considerations. No pressure is, or was, exerted on the Unit to delay the investigation.” This is the official response of the police, and specifically because of it, we are going public with this affair here. Nfc has learned that the investigative team possesses a great deal of information and documents on the subject, as well as testimonies, that would normally require the investigation of Olmert and Yehezkel, but the heads of the Unit have decided, at least at this stage, to refrain from investigating the two. It should be noted that in the legal proceedings before the High Court of Justice, the A. S. P. Y. Corporation Ltd, as well as the Modi’in District Regional Council, denied all the accusations against them. Ezra Aloni and the A. S. P. Y. Corporation stated in response that the report is filled with incorrect facts, distortion of the truth, half-truths, and even total lies. Their full response will be cited in our investigation (link). The Director of the Israel Lands Administration, Yaakov Efrati, said in response that pressure had not been exerted on him by Olmert or Yehezkel. His full response will be cited in our investigation (link).