Monday, February 15, 2016 3:24 pm
Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday in Tel Aviv sentenced Ehud Olmert, former Israeli Prime Minister, to jail.
The 70-year-old, who served from 2006 until 2009, was convicted of bribe-taking and obstruction of justice, for which he was sentenced to a total of 19 months in jail.
Report said Olmert arrived at the Maasiyahu Prison, south-east of Tel Aviv, shortly before 10 a.m.
It said his sentence was set to run for at least 18 months, but depending on possible appeals by Olmert and by the state, could run as long as 27 months.
“Whether Olmert serves 18 months or 27 months depends on two other sentences, a one-month sentence handed down last week by Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge, Avital Chen and an eight-month sentence handed down in by the Jerusalem District Court in the Talansky Affair retrial in May.
It said Israel’s Supreme Court had in December upheld one-count of bribe-taking in a real-estate scandal when he was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.
It said it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that his aides accepted money in return for construction permits.
It said many other high-ranking officials had also been implicated in the affair, named after the Holyland real estate project.
In addition, another court last week gave Olmert an extra month of jail time, for two counts of obstruction of justice, to which the former premier admitted under a plea bargain.
The two counts referred to two attempts by Olmert to convince his former secretary, Shula Zaken, not to testify and not to sign a plea bargain in another major corruption case.
“Zaken, at first loyal to him, initially agreed, but later turned into a state witness and produced tape recordings, which revealed Olmert’s attempts to persuade her not to go along with the prosecutors.
It said further that Olmert would stay in a special wing with extra security outside his cell at all times, due to his knowledge of state secrets.
“The Prisons Service is taking over his security from the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and only inmates who have gone through a strict screening process will live in his wing.
The report said further that Olmert said shortly before departing in a convoy from Jerusalem that “Life is offering me today no simple test. I go toward it with great sadness.
“I admitted to having “made mistakes,” but there were no criminal,” and or bribe taken.
“For some of them I pay today a heavy price, perhaps too heavy,” he said.
Olmert, who became the first former prime minister in Israel’s history to go behind bars, has a wife, five children and 11 grandchildren.