In the first criminal conviction of a former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for taking bribes related to a real estate deal. The formal case against Olmert stretches back to 2008, when he resigned from office under a cloud.
Olmert, 68, says he’ll appeal his punishment, which includes a fine of 1 million shekels ($290,000), reports Israel’s Haaretz. He was found guilty of the crime in March.
From Jerusalem, Linda Gradstein reports for our Newscast unit:
“Tel Aviv judge David Rozen compared Olmert to a traitor for taking almost $150,000 in bribes from the developers of a large housing complex in Jerusalem called the Holyland, while he was mayor of Jerusalem in the 1990s.
“Olmert has already said he would appeal the conviction and the sentence and his attorneys are expected to ask the court to allow him to remain free until the Supreme Court rules on his appeal, which could take months.
“Two years ago, Olmert was acquitted of most of the corruption charges brought against him and there was speculation that he might return to politics. When he resigned in 2008, he was trying to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians, and reportedly had been making progress.”