web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Olmert Convicted In Holyland Bribery Case

JERUSALEM – Former prime minister Ehud Olmert was convicted of two counts of bribery by Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rozen on Monday. Olmert was found guilty of accepting bribes worth 560,000 shekels, or $160,000, from developers of Jerusalem’s Holyland Park residential project during his tenure as mayor of Jerusalem. Olmert helped the project’s developers in exchange for accepting the kickbacks.

Olmert, who plans to appeal the verdict, was acquitted on two other corruption charges.

During his reading of the verdict, Rozen sharply criticized Olmert’s credibility. “I reject Olmert’s account of events entirely,” he said. The judge condemned Olmert’s systematic attempts to avoid responsibility for his actions, instead blaming his bureau chief, Shula Zaken, and the state’s witness, businessman Shmuel Dechner, who died during the courtroom testimony phase. Dechner admitted funneling significant amounts of money to the defendants in order to move the Holyland project forward. His death nearly derailed the case against Olmert and his co-defendants.

Zaken was also convicted of accepting bribes, despite her eleventh-hour attempt to testify against Olmert in return for leniency. Rozen, the judge, denied her request. Eight others, including Olmert’s successor as mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, were found guilty of corruption charges in the case.

Despite Rozen’s denial of Zaken’s request to testify against Olmert, the prosecution is confident that the Israel Police will recommend that Olmert be indicted on charges of obstruction of justice. The possibility of new charges being brought against Olmert comes after Zaken released damaging recordings of Olmert allegedly asking her to reject any plea deal that would allow her to testify against him in court. According to Israeli legal sources, conviction of an obstruction of justice charge often carries a jail term of five-seven years.

While Olmert’s legal defense team expressed “shock” at Rozen’s decision, lead defense attorney Roy Blecher is already preparing to ask the court for a delay of the April 28 sentencing arguments.

If Olmert is imprisoned for his crimes, he would be the first prime minister in Israel’s history to be incarcerated. Ironically, Moshe Katsav, who served as Israel’s president during Olmert’s time as prime minister, is serving seven years behind bars following a rape conviction in 2010.

Olmert’s conviction derailed his concerted attempt to reinvent himself as an international business consultant, which has seen him partner with former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former IDF chief of staff Dan Halutz in a new business venture. Olmert was also reportedly using Dagan and Halutz as the backbones of his new centrist political party that would seek to oust Olmert’s political nemesis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Most Israeli political pundits agree that Olmert’s conviction brings any potential political resurrection to an end.

The Holyland case was the most serious in a seemingly endless series of corruption cases involving Olmert. In 2012 a judge acquitted him of illegally receiving political campaign funds via Long Island businessman Morris Talansky and the claiming of double travel expenses in the Rishon Tours scandal. Both cases might be reopened on appeal, based on Zaken’s alleged new evidence. Olmert received a suspended sentence for illegally obtaining government financing for businesses when he was Israel’s minister of industry, trade and labor.

Ironically the Holyland real-estate project, which was erected during the past decade, has turned out to be a financial fiasco for the builders of the project. According to Israel’s Calcalist business daily, the reputable companies that were involved in building and selling the project to mostly upscale Israeli and Anglo buyers have lost nearly $13 million. The grand project, which was expected to feature 12 apartment towers and a five-star hotel, boasts only eight buildings – with the remainder still on the drawing board.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Olmert Convicted In Holyland Bribery Case”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A third assault in France in which assailant yelled "Allahu Akbar" before attacking others.
Another French ‘Allahu Akbar’ Attack, Driver Slams into Crowd
Latest News Stories
The Mamilla shopping mall in Jerusalem at evening time.

An “out of control” sanitation truck in Glasgow struck a crowd of shoppers Monday and ended their holiday preparations.

A third assault in France in which assailant yelled "Allahu Akbar" before attacking others.

Driver shouting “Allahu Akbar” plows into pedestrian in third such attack in France in 3 days

A closeup snapshot of the Skylark 1 UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone).

The Israeli government has officially denied Arab media reports that an Israeli drone was shot down by the Syrian Army near Quneitra this weekend.

Chanukah activities for orphans and widows this past week organized by Colel Chabad.

The oldest continuously running social welfare organization in Israel, Colel Chabad, is hosting its annual retreat for 260 orphans and widows this Channukah.

A family pose for a picture in front of a giant illuminated Chanukiah in the Port of Tel Aviv on December 21, 2014.

The results of the poll may cause people to start changing their minds.

The Palestinian Authority is a serial murderer – first the “peace process” and now Israeli soldiers.

He had posted on Facebook, “Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies.” It’s part of a quote from the Qur’an.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt several weeks ago, announced he is running “symbolically” on the Likud list for the elections to the Knesset. He is in 33rd place, and he will not be elected unless the party performs a miracle no less than his recovery and wins 33 seats. […]

“Both sides shall respect and protect the listed below religious rights of Jews, Christians, Moslems and Samaritans.” – Oslo Accords.

The annual Giant Chabad Menorah was lit without a ceremony this year in Martin Place, Sydney.

Egypt closed the crossing due the ongoing terror attacks against Egypt emanating from the Gaza Strip.

India may pull its vote in favor of the PA resolution before the UN Security Council and instead choosing abstention.

Arab media report Syria downed an Israeli drone over Quneitra, near the border between the two countries.

Man shouting “Allahu Akbar” drives car into crowd in the French city of Dijon.

Bereaved family says hit-and-run death was terrorism.

More Articles from Steve K. Walz
: Israeli soldiers leave Gaza late Monday. A three-day cease-fire brokered by Egypt put an end, at least temporarily, to the fighting. See story, above.

As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.

Walz-080114-Map

The operation against the tunnels is a first and necessary step in the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.

The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.

“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.

Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”

If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.

Netanyahu brushed aside Lapid’s political threats, saying that he was either too politically inexperienced or unaware of the true nature of the peace negotiations with Abbas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/government-israel/olmert-convicted-in-holyland-bribery-case/2014/04/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: