Former Israeli PM Olmert given 18-month reduced sentence

JERUSALEM,  Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was ordered to serve 18 months in jail, a reduced sentence after he was acquitted Tuesday of his main corruption charge by the Supreme Court.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the press in the Supreme Court on Tuesday after the court reduced his sentence from six years to 18 months in prison for taking bribes in the Holyland corruption case in Jerusalem, Israel. Olmert's sentence is scheduled to begin February 15. Photo by Debbie Hill/ UPI | License Photo
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks to the press in the Supreme Court on Tuesday after the court reduced his sentence from six years to 18 months in prison for taking bribes in the Holyland corruption case in Jerusalem, Israel. Olmert’s sentence is scheduled to begin February 15. Photo by Debbie Hill/ UPI | License Photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olmert was sentenced to six years imprisonment by a lower court in 2014. The Supreme Court acquitted him of receiving a $130,000 bribe from the real estate developers of Holyland, a controversial block of apartments in Jerusalem, but a separate conviction of illegally taking a $15,000 payment for a project was upheld.

Olmert, who served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, is scheduled to begin his sentence Feb. 15.

“A heavy weight was lifted from my chest today, when the Supreme Court exonerated me of the main charge, of Holyland,” Olmert said after the ruling. “No bribe was ever offered to me and I never accepted one.”

Olmert will become the first former Israeli head of government to be imprisoned. In March, Olmert was found guilty of fraud and breach of trust in the retrial of a separate case.

In a 2008 testimony, a witness said he provided Olmert with a $25,000 Italy vacation and $5,000 to cover a Washington hotel bill because Olmert’s credit card was “maxed out.”

By Andrew V. Pestano

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