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Former Israeli PM Olmert sentenced to 8 months in prison for corruption

The court had convicted Olmert in March of illegally receiving, using and concealing at least USD 153,950 funds in envelopes from New York businessman Talansky between 1993 and 2002.

By: Press Trust of India | Jerusalem |
May 25, 2015 3:48:33 pm
Ehud Olmert, Israeli PM prison, Israel news, Middle east news, world news, olmert prison, Israeli PM jail, news, Breaking news Former Israeli Prime Minister Ohud Olmert.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was on Monday sentenced to eight months in prison on charges of graft, fraud and breach of trust, becoming the first premier in the country’s history to serve a jail term.

The Jerusalem District Court passed the sentence in the so-called Talansky case in which Olmert, 69, was accused of accepting envelopes filled with money from American-Jewish businessman Morris “Moshe” Talansky.

The court also slapped a fine of USD 25,000 on him.

The former Prime Minister was acquitted in 2012 on grounds of reasonable doubt, but the judges overturned their decision two months ago, following the prosecution’s appeal, which was based on Olmert’s former bureau chief Shula Zaken’s testimony.

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Zaken had become a state’s witness offering diary entries and tape recordings of conversations with Olmert about illicitly receiving cash, leading to a retrial.

The Israeli leader, who served as a lawmaker for decades and as the Mayor of Jerusalem for two terms was found guilty of taking hundreds of thousands of shekels for private use while serving as Minister of Trade, Industry and Labour.

The court had convicted Olmert in March of illegally receiving, using and concealing at least USD 153,950 (out of an alleged USD 600,000) funds in envelopes from New York businessman Talansky between 1993 and 2002.

The former Premier didn’t report to the state comptroller receiving the money as required by law.

The jail sentence is Olmert’s second following a six year sentence he received in the Holyland real estate trial on a conviction for bribery.

While he has appealed that conviction and sentence, the Supreme Court did not sound sympathetic when it heard the appeal.

Olmert decided not to testify in the new trial but did speak during the punishment pleas.

“I believe that there is no harsher punishment than what I have been going through these last years,” Olmert had told to the court.

“For almost a tenth of my life I’ve become a punching bag, and each punch, in certain circles, received sympathy and support. Throughout these years I had to amass strength in order to defend myself, to support my growing family and my spouse.

“What will I say to my grandchild (when) children talk about his grandfather and he is damaged and helpless? How does one explain to one’s granddaughter why teachers humiliate her due to what they saw on the news the night before?,” he had emphasised.

State prosecutor Uri Korb told reporters the verdict was given after the court ruled unambiguously that the defendant (Olmert) broke the law while he was a high-level public servant.

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