An Israeli court has found guilty ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in a corruption case, deciding that he did accept bribes in connection with the building of a luxury apartment complex in Jerusalem.
The verdict looks set to end any prospect of a political comeback for Olmert although he denied any wrongdoing. He was one of 13 defendants.
Relating to the city’s Holyland development, the charges date back to his time as Jerusalem Mayor
from 1993 to 2003.
Judge David Rozen, handing down the conviction in Tel Aviv District Court, said the case “exposed governance that grew more corrupt and rotten over the years”, with bribes paid to public officials.
This was the latest in a series of corruption allegations against Olmert, who became prime minister in 2006, succeeding Ariel Sharon who had had a stroke.
A centrist, credited with pursuing peace with the Palestinians, Olmert was forced to quit as premier in 2008 as accusations began to mount.
In 2012 he was acquitted of major charges in separate cases.