Ex-Israeli Leader Ehud Olmert Found Guilty Of Corruption

March 30, 2015

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been found guilty of accepting money from a U.S. supporter. Olmert was convicted last year on separate corruption charges.

Monday’s decision reversed a 2012 ruling that had acquitted Olmert, who was prime minister from 2006 to 2009.

At issue are cash-stuffed envelopes that Olmert took from U.S. businessman Morris Talansky when he was mayor of Jerusalem (about $600,000) and a Cabinet minister (about $153,950). The decision by the Jerusalem District Court was based on testimony from a former aide to Olmert who turned state’s witness. Olmert was convicted of fraud, breach of trust and illicitly receiving money, and he faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced in May.

As we reported last year, Olmert received six years in prison for a separate bribery case involving a real estate deal. He is appealing that decision, and his lawyer was quoted by The Associated Press as saying Olmert will likely appeal Monday’s decision as well.

AP adds that the convictions “all but [ensure] the former premier will not return to politics for many years to come.”

It adds: “Olmert has claimed he was on the brink of a historic agreement with the Palestinians when he was forced to resign in early 2009 amid corruption allegations. His departure cleared the way for hard-liner Benjamin Netanyahu’s election, and subsequent peace efforts have not succeeded.”

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