#AceNewsServices – JERUSALEM – May 13 – Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on Tuesday for accepting bribes linked to a real-estate deal, Reuters reported.
The politician is credited internationally with working towards a peace settlement with the Palestinians.
This is the first time a former head of government in Israel has been sentenced to prison.
(NYPost) – July 10 2012 – Reported an Israeli court cleared former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday of the central charges in a multi-case corruption trial that forced him from power, but convicted him of a lesser charge of breach of trust.
The verdict was seen as a major victory for Olmert, who stepped down as prime minister in 2009 to battle allegations that included accepting cash-stuffed envelopes from a supporter and pocketing the proceeds from a double-billing scam on overseas travel.
His conviction on the lesser charge of “breach of trust” made him the first Israeli prime minister ever convicted of a crime.
Beating the main charges could significantly rehabilitate Olmert’s public standing and shift the focus to questions on whether an overzealous prosecution unnecessarily hounded him from office.
Olmert’s legal troubles are far from over, however.
He will be sentenced in September and is currently standing trial in a separate real estate bribery case.
For now at least, a return to politics for the 66-year-old Olmert appears unlikely.
Casually dressed in a blue button-down shirt, Olmert appeared calm and relieved as the verdict was delivered in the Jerusalem district court.
As he left the courtroom, the former prime minister had a wide smile and kissed defence lawyers and advisers.
“There was no corruption. There was no taking of money. There was no use of money. There were no cash envelopes. There was nothing of what they tried to attribute to me,” Olmert told reporters defiantly afterward, saying the lone conviction was merely a “procedural lapse” from which he would draw the necessary lessons.
The verdict, which capped a two-year trial, covered three separate allegations: illegally accepting funds from an American supporter, double-billing Jewish groups for trips abroad and channelling state grants to companies linked to a close friend.
He was acquitted in the first two cases and found guilty in the last.
- Tuesday is Sentencing Day for Olmert(israelnationalnews.com)
- Minutes before sentencing, Olmert insists he’s ‘innocent’(timesofisrael.com)
- Israeli court convicts ex-PM Olmert of bribery(miamiherald.com)
- Holyland Judge: Bribery Pollutes Public Service(israelnationalnews.com)