Olmert refuses to step down amid corruption scandal
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is accused of corruption
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Friday, 09, May 2008 08:53
Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has been accused of illicitly accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars before taking office.
Mr Olmert admitted on Thursday to taking money from a US businessman but resisted calls to resign.
Police suspect the prime minister of unlawfully taking campaign money while mayor of Jerusalem.
Mr Olmert yesterday, on Israel's 60th anniversary, denied the money was any kind of bribe.
In a television statement last night, he said: "I never took bribes, I never took a penny for myself.
"I was elected by you, citizens of Israel, to be the prime minister and I don't intend to shirk this responsibility.
"I will resign from my job if the attorney general decides to issue an indictment against me."
Israeli Channel 2 TV reported that Jewish businessman Morris Talansky handed Mr Olmert the money during a series of meetings when he was mayor of Jerusalem.