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Police question Isaraeli pm again in graft probe

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Picture: (REUTERS/David Furst/Pool)- Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pictured, will be questioned for the fifth time today.

By Marius Schattner

Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today for the second time since he announced he would resign after his centrist Kadima party chooses a new leader in September.

Anti-fraud officers were at Olmert’s official residence in Jerusalem to conduct the interview, the fifth since claims the premier accepted illegal funds from a wealthy US financier emerged in May.

Dogged by six police investigations over alleged wrongdoing in the years before he took office in 2006, Olmert, 62, annnounced last week he would step down after Kadima party holds a leadership election on September 17.

Public radio says today’s questioning would likely focus on the graft allegations as well as claims of influence peddling.

On August 1, police had questioned Olmert on claims he sent out multiple bills for the same overseas trips and asked him about suspicious transfers of cash.

The allegations against Olmert, which all date back to the time before he took office in 2006, had prompted widespread calls for his resignation, which even several of his allies supported.