Ex-Israel PM Olmert convicted of fraud
The court found that Moshe Talansky gave Olmert $153,000 in envelopes.
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In a verdict handed down this morning, the Jerusalem District Court overturned the acquittal of former prime minister Ehud Olmert in the Talansky affair, and found that he had lied in his earlier testimony. Olmert was convicted today of fraud and breach of trust and also of fraudulent receiving. Olmert left the court immediately after the verdict and said nothing to the press.
The maximum penalty for offences of fraud and breach of trust is three years imprisonment, and the maximum penalty for fraudulent receiving is five years. The court will sentence Olmert on May 5.
The court found that Moshe Talansky gave Olmert $153,000 in envelopes. During the period in which Olmert received the money, his aide Shula Zaken twice received supplements to her salary. The court decided that this private and unlawful use of the money. Zaken's decision to change her stance and testify against her former boss, and to hand over recordings of telephone conversations with him that were previously unknown to the prosecution, was one of the things that led the State Prosecutor to appeal against Olmert's 2012 acquittal, and to today's verdict. Olmert's defense lawyers continued to claim that the money received from Talansky was used for political purposes and that the acquittal should therefore stand.
Today's conviction is in addition to the conviction handed down a year ago in Holyland affair, in which Olmert was found guilty of accepting bribes in return for facilitating the Holyland project in Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan neighborhood when he was mayor of the city.
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