Adelson Questioned by Israeli Detectives As Part of Olmert Bribery Probe

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Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson was questioned today by Israeli fraud squad detectives in connection with their fast moving probe of possibly illegal payments from an American businessman to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reports:

Fraud squad detectives on Tuesday questioned American real estate mogul Sheldon Adelson in connection to the new corruption investigation into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Adelson, 73, earned his fortune developing huge hotel, convention and gambling properties in Las Vegas and, recently, in China.

The billionaire was asked whether Olmert had requested he acquire for his hotels mini-bars marketed the key witness in the probe, American Jewish businessman Morris Talansky, from whom the prime minister is suspected of illicitly accepting large sums of cash.

Adelson is one of the owners of the free Israeli daily Israel Hayom paper and is considered a close associate of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli media report that a second American businessman, Daniel Abrams, has also been questioned by Israeli fraud police as part of the same investigation. “Daniel Abrams is suspected of transferring money from New York financier Morris Talansky to Olmert,” the Jerusalem Post reported. “Abrams, a broadcast executive and former news correspondent, is also allegedly involved in two other scandals involving the prime minister – the Bank Leumi affair and the case of Olmert’s Jerusalem home purchase.”

World leaders including President Bush are descending on Israel these days for events to mark the country’s 60th anniversary, including a conference slated to feature Bush and Olmert hosted by Israeli president Shimon Peres.

(Photograph of Adelson via Ha’aretz).

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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