Olmert gets 6-year prison term for bribery

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for accepting bribes in the real estate scam known as the “Holyland affair.”

Ehud Olmert photo/jta

The sentence handed down May 13 in Tel Aviv District Court would make Olmert the first Israeli premier to be sent to prison. Olmert also was fined 1 million shekels, or about $290,000, in what has been called Israel’s largest corruption scandal.

Olmert was convicted in March on two counts of bribery for accepting about $150,000 from developers of the Holyland project when he was the mayor of Jerusalem and later a government minister. The project involved the development of high-rises in Jerusalem.

He and six others sentenced that day — including his successor as mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupoliansky — were ordered to present themselves to the prisons service on Sept. 1.

Olmert said in court that he never accepted bribes and vowed to appeal the conviction and the sentence.

“I am proud of the decade in which I ran the honest city [of Jerusalem],” he said.

Olmert resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted in multiple corruption scandals. — jta