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Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 13:07 UK

Olmert questioned on 'corruption'

Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem - 12/5/2008
Mr Olmert denies the allegation that he accepted bribes

Police in Israel have questioned Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for a second time in a corruption investigation.

Prosecutors say they suspect Mr Olmert misused large amounts of cash received from a US businessman when he was mayor of Jerusalem.

Earlier this month Mr Olmert denied any wrongdoing, saying the money he had received was to be used to fund political campaigns.

He has said he would resign if he is formally charged.

Few details have emerged after the latest meeting, which lasted just over an hour.

However, prosecutors have said it may be many months before they conclude their investigations.

Pressure

Morris Talansky - a New York-based financier - is said to have given hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to Mr Olmert at a series of meetings in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Mr Olmert said Mr Talansky had helped him raise funds for election campaigns but he insisted everything had been legal.

Mr Talansky has also said all his actions on behalf of Mr Olmert were legal.

Mr Olmert became prime minister in 2006 after being minister for industry and trade from 2003-2006 and mayor of Jerusalem from 1993-2003.

The police investigation has cast doubt on Mr Olmert's ability to press forward with talks with the Palestinians and Syria.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent Wyre Davies says Mr Olmert is coming under tremendous pressure from his political opponents and his popularity has plummeted in opinion polls.




SEE ALSO
Ehud Olmert: Corruption allegations
08 May 08 |  Middle East
Israeli PM denies taking bribes
09 May 08 |  Middle East
Police drop charge against Olmert
30 Nov 07 |  Middle East
Profile: Ehud Olmert
08 May 08 |  Middle East

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