Israeli ex-PM Olmert convicted of bribery
Former premier convicted of receiving bribes in two separate cases, one of which linked to a Jerusalem residential complex
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted on corruption charges linked to a major property development in Jerusalem, according to Israeli media reports on Monday.
The former premier was convicted of receiving bribes in two separate cases, one of which was linked to construction of Jerusalem's massive Holyland residential complex dating from when he was the city's mayor, public Channel 1 television reported.
In 2010, he was named as the key suspect in the so-called Holyland affair on suspicion that he received bribes totaling some 1.5 million shekels ($430,000), although the prosecution later reduced the sum received by about half, according to Agence France-Presse.
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, according to Reuters news agency.
Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003, after which he served as a cabinet minister, holding the trade and industry portfolio as well as several others, before becoming premier in 2006.
He led the centre-right Kadima party into government, but resigned from the premiership in September 2008 after police recommended that he be indicted in several graft cases.
In July 2013, a Jerusalem court found Olmert guilty of breach of trust in a closely watched corruption case, but cleared him on two more serious charges related to the alleged receipt of cash-stuffed envelopes and multiple billing for trips abroad.
He was fined $19,000 and given a suspended jail sentence for graft.
The conviction related to favors that Olmert granted a former colleague while serving as the trade and industry minister.
(With AFP and Reuters)
Israel should have accepted Palestinian UN bid OlmertIsrael had no reason to oppose Palestine’s U.N. observer state membership, according to ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert, who plans to announce Wednesday ... News
Report: Israel says fate of peace talks to be clear in ‘days’Netanyahu said it would be clear within “days” whether the crisis-hit peace talks would be extended beyond April 29 Middle East
Israel shoots ‘infiltrators’ on Golan HeightsIsraeli media sources say two men have been killed, but a military statement would not confirm their condition Middle East
Palestinians: Israel reneges on final prisoner releaseIsrael has so far freed 78 prisoners but members of the cabinet said they would block the final release Middle East
Turkey says Israel deal close over Gaza flotilla deathsNine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed in the Israeli assault, sparking a major crisis between the long-time regional allies Middle East