Israel: former PM Ehud Olmert to serve prison time for corruption

Israel: former PM Ehud Olmert to serve prison time for corruption
By Euronews with Reuters, Times of Israel
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Ehud Olmert becomes Israel's first former head of state to be sent to prison as the Supreme Court only partially accepts an appeal against a bribery conviction.


Israel’s Supreme Court has partly overturned the bribery conviction of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, reducing his jail sentence from six years to 18 months.

Olmert is one of eight former officials and businessmen originally convicted in March 2014 in the so-called Holyland corruption case.

The charges relate to a big property deal in Jerusalem’s Holyland residential development, which took place during Olmert’s 1992-2003 term as mayor of the city.

He is accused of accepting bribes in exchange for helping win municipal approval for the site.

Officials have described the case as the largest in Israel’s history.

The 70-year-old was allowed to stay out of prison during his appeal, but is now set to begin serving his term on February 15, 2016.

Speaking as he left court, he insisted:
“I said in the past that I never was offered or received bribes.”

Olmert, who was premier from 2006 to 2009, will be Israel’s first former head of government to be sent to prison.

The former leader is also set to appeal an eight-month sentence for allegedly accepting cash from American businessman Morris Talansky in return for political favours during his time as mayor.

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