The Jerusalem District Court Tuesday morning sentenced former Prime Minister Ohed Olmert eight months in jail for the scandal in which he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from New York businessman Moshe Talansky.
He also was fined a paltry 150,00 shekels ($37,000). The jail sentence comes on top of a sentence of six years in prison for the Holyland apartments bribery scandal.
Olmert so far has succeeded in staying out of a jail cell, but his day is coming.
The former Prime Minister in 2012 was acquitted on charges in the Talansky affair, but the court overturned its ruling several months ago following testimony by Olmert’s former aide Shulie Zaken, who turned the tables on her former boss and got off the hook from a lengthy jail sentence for her participation on the Talansky affair.
Jerusalem District Court Judge Yaakov Zaban said while handing down the jail sentence Monday morning that Olmert crimes are a “black flag” on public service.
However, the ruling by the three-judge panel said that Olmert did not get a stiffer jail term in view of his public service,
It could be argued the other way around – that someone in public service should get the harshest sentence possible for abusing his position.
His defense attorneys whined, “The punishment handed down on Olmert only worsens the suffering he already has undergone.”
The lawyers complained that Olmert “resigned as Prime Minister because of investigations, removed himself from public life for several years, lost his lofty position and gave up privileges that he deserves as a former Prime Minister.”
And do they really think he should have remained in office, that he should have retained privileges, and that he should remain in public (dis)service?
Olmert is lucky there is no way to charge him and bring him to trial for his total mismanagement of Israeli policies in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.