Israeli PM’s Bureau Chief Under House Arrest

So is such news any surprise to us?

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Bureau Chief is restricted to house arrest, while several others, including her brother, are in custody over a major tax and bribe scandal.

Shula Zaken, her brother Jerusalem City Councilman (Likud) Yoram Karashi, and others are suspected of involvement in accepting or arranging bribes from political figures and businesspeople in return for tax breaks and other favors.

Olmert’s Bureau Chief was restricted to house arrest for ten days by a Tel Aviv magistrate Tuesday night after being questioned by the fraud squad at its Bat Yam headquarters for more than eight hours. Her brother is also in custody, along with the Director-General of the Israel Tax Authority and a private businessman.

Zaken, who has been Prime Minister Olmert’s top aide for many years, was required to post a NIS 50,000 bond to secure her release from custody. She is barred from contacting the Prime Minister’s Office for an additional 14 days after the house arrest ends, and her passport was confiscated.

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