The trial of the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges has begun in Jerusalem.
Mr Olmert is accused of fraud, breach of trust, falsifying corporate records and failing to declare income – charges he denies and his lawyers describe the prosecution case as ridiculously weak. However, if found guilty, Mr Olmert faces a lengthy prison sentence.
The trail may last as long as four years and relates to when Mr Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem and before he became Israeli Prime Minister in 2006.
During his three years in office he was plagued by corruption scandals. He was forced to resign last September. The allegations include taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from an American businessman and millionaire Morris Talansky who has testified he handed over money to Mr Olmert to fund political campaigns
The money was allegedly kept in a secret account by the Rishon Tours travel agency and used to pay for the Olmert family holidays.