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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bribery’

PM Olmert, Two More Holy Land Hotel Defendants to Start Prison Terms

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

On Monday a new chapter will be written in Israel’s annals of politics and crime, as former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Kadima) enters white-collar Ma’asiyahu prison near Ramla for 27 months for receiving a bribe and deception. Olmert was originally sentenced to six years, but the high court acquitted him on one major indictment. Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran wrote in his opinion that Olmert “is a public servant who embezzled money and betrayed the public’s trust, for which he must be punished.”

Olmert will be staying at Division 10 at Ma’asiyahu, set up for normative inmates who committed relatively light crimes. He will share a cell with two other inmates, dine at the division’s own mess hall and be able to use the gym. In one year he could appeal for a sentence reduction.

Danny Dankner and Meir Rabin, two of the defendants who were convicted in the Holy Land Hotel scandal, will also begin serving their sentences on Monday, after Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor rejected their petition to receive another hearing in their case and to lighten their punishment. Naor ruled that neither defendant’s case revealed any exception that would justify an additional hearing.

Dankner was convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court, along with other defendants, and last month the Supreme court accepted his appeal partially, reducing his sentence from three to two years. Dnakner was convicted of giving bribes and money laundering.

Meir Rabin, who served as an aide to Shmuel Dachner, who ended up turning state’s evidence, was convicted of taking about $350,000 from Dankner, to help the latter re-zone lands owned by his family. He will serve five years, on receiving a bribe and money laundering.

JNi.Media

Former PM Olmert Appeals Talansky Case

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared Tuesday at the Jerusalem Supreme Court to appeal his sentence in the Talansky case.

Olmert was sentenced on May 25, 2015 to 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 NIS 150,00 ($37,000). The jail sentence followed a sentence of six years in prison for the Holyland apartments bribery scandal. Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes in return for facilitating the real estate project in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood while serving as mayor of the city.

That six year prison term, however, was reduced by the Supreme Court to 18 months a year and a half later.

Olmert was acquitted last month (Dec. 29, 2015) on a major portion of his 2014 conviction.

Israel’s Supreme Court accepted Olmert’s argument regarding the state’s failure to prove he actually received half a million shekels in bribes as mayor of Jerusalem in the Holyland affair.

The court did, however, retain the former prime minister’s conviction on receiving a bribe of NIS 60,000 during his tenure as Minister of Industry.

Hana Levi Julian

Arye Deri Returns as Interior Minister

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

Twenty-two years after he was forced to resign in disgrace from the position, Shas chairman Arye Deri was approved Sunday by the government as Israel’s new Interior Minister.

Two decades ago, the Shas minister – who recently served as Minister of Economy – was forced to resign from the Interior Ministry after an indictment on charges of corruption.

Deri was later convicted and sentenced to a four-year prison term on charges of bribery.

The former Economy Minister replaces former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who recently resigned.

Shalom left his position in the wake of accusations of sexual harassment by a number of former employees.

Hana Levi Julian

Labor Party Icon Ben-Eliezer Indicted for Bribery and Money Laundering

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Former Defense Minister, senior IDF officer, and Labor party icon Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer was indicted in a Tel Aviv court Wednesday for money laundering, bribery, fraud, tax evasion and breach of public trust.

He also was a hair’s breadth from being elected president before charges against him were made public.

The damning indictments, even if he not convicted, destroy his image of having served the country for decades and once again raises the question why politicians exploit their positions of power for greed and favor friends in return for financial reward.

The charges against him are considered the gravest in modern Israeli history, even worse than the bribery conviction of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

The investigation of Ben-Eliezer uncovered approximately $500,000 in cash in his home. He allegedly took tens of thousands of dollars in return for favors.

The arrest of Ben-Eliezer sent shock waves throughout Israel, especially among the Left and left-wing media who were campaigning for him to be elected President of Israel in a contest against veteran Likud Knesset Member Reuven Rivlin.

The race was neck-and-neck until the arrests, five days before the election of the President, forced Ben-Eliezer out of the running. His supporters complained that the investigation was a hoax in order to allow Rivlin to be elected.

Once a host of allegations and a later conviction against Olmert sent him to the political cemetery, Ben-Eliezer became the liberal media’s de facto nominee to be the next Prime Minister.

The government-funded Kol Yisrael radio network constantly interviewed him during prime time news, sometimes as often as once a week.\

Ben-Eliezer was born in Iraq and was a commander in the Six-Day War in 1967 and in the Yom Kippur War. His political career in the Knesset began in 1984, and he rose to become a senior member of the Labor party.

He served as Defense Minister under Ariel Sharon and was Labor party chairman.

Ben-Eliezer now is 80 years old and is in poor health, a factor which may lighten a prison sentence.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Pro-Palestinian Protesters Invade FIFA Congress

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Pro-Palestinian protesters invaded the annual FIFA congress in Zurich Friday morning, waved Palestinian flags and demanded the ouster of Israel from the soccer organization before security guards ejected them.

The noisy demonstrators interrupted the inaugural speech of FIFA president Sepp Blatter while shouting, “Israel out. Free football. Free Palestine.”

Outside the hall, more than 100 others demonstrated, but some of them managed to slip past security guards and enter the meeting hall. After Blatter called for the security guards to stop the disturbance, he asked them to be to be more alert.

Or perhaps one needs to pay them to keep out the protester, who perhaps paid the guards to let them in.

Money is the way FIFA works. Nine of its officials and former officials have been arrested for large-scale charges of bribery and fraud following an investigation by federal officials in the United States.

But the more urgent matter in FIFA today is not the scandal and not the election of the next president, either Blatter or a Jordanian rival.

FIFA officials around the world are to vote later today on whether to accept its Palestinian Authority affiliate’s demand to expel Israel because of the PA claim that Jews are living on their land. One PA official said it could accept a compromise whereby Israel would eject five teams playing in Judea and Samaria. They include Ma’aleh Adumim where Arabs never have lived and which now is the home to more than 40,000 Jews.

The other teams are from Ariel, where and Arabs and Jews study at the Ariel University, the Jordan Valley, Givat Ze’ev, located near Jerusalem, and Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron.

“No compromise is possible on the settlement teams continued playing in Israel’s league,” one Palestinian Authority delegate told the London Guardian.

There is a difference of opinion on how many votes are needed to defeat the Palestinian Authority demand to oust  Israel. PA delegates question the widely-reported interpretation that a 75 percent vote is needed.

The voting this afternoon will be by secret ballot.

Bribes also will be kept secret.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Warns FIFA: Palestinian Threats Will Destroy International Sport

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Palestinian Authority government heads are continuing to use the international arena as their new battleground against Israel.

But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Thursday that if the membership of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) caves to PA pressure, such a vote will also eventually kill FIFA.

“The effort to hurt Israel will destroy FIFA because if they start with one country they will move on to another and it will collapse the organization. The effort to suspend Israel is severe and we will resist it unequivocally.

“I told [FIFA president Sepp] Blatter that if he allows the suspension of Israel he will have allowed for the destruction of FIFA.”

Even as new allegations appear against the organization and its president, Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub is refusing to withdraw a PA proposal to ban Israel from the sports organization. A two-thirds majority vote at the 209-member organization would succeed in expelling Israel from the international sports body.

“Nothing has changed, the vote is still on the agenda,” Rajoub told the AFP news agency after a meeting with Blatter on Wednesday.

The Palestinian soccer league president is no stranger to any form of terror – be it warfare, lawfare or sportsfare – having served his first prison term in Israel at age 15. Two years, in September 1970, later he was arrested again, this time for hurling a grenade at an IDF bus near Hebron. Upon being convicted on charges of terror and membership in an armed terror organization, Rajoub was sentenced to life in prison. He was subsequently released in 1985 as part of a prisoner swap to free three Israeli hostages held by the PFLP terror organization. He was arrested again, numerous times, after returning to his life of violent crime, working with the Fatah terror organization.

After deportation to Lebanon and relocation to Tunisia, Rajoub eventually became a close adviser to PLO terror chief Yasser Arafat. He was also involved in a plot to assassinate former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Following the signing of the Oslo Accords, Rajoub returned to Judea and Samaria, where he served as head of the PA security force.

In June 2012, as head of the Palestinian Olympic Committee, Rajoub called a request for a minute of silence to remember the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Palestinian terrorists, “racist.”

In May 2013, Rajoub told the Lebanese Al Mayadeen television network, “We, the Palestinians are enemies of Israel…. Until now we have not had nuclear weapons, but in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them.”

Rajoub has conditioned withdrawal of the proposal to expel Israel from FIFA on a ruling by the United Nations to determine the status of five Israeli soccer teams based in Judea and Samaria. The teams are from the Jewish communities of Ma’aleh Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Arba, Beka’at HaYarden and Givat Ze’ev.

Teams not located within Israeli territory require Palestinian authorization to participate in the Israeli leagues under FIFA regulations.

Because the United Nations does not recognize Israel’s annexation of post-1967 parts of the country – including numerous Jerusalem neighborhoods, the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza, the decision would de facto force Israel’s league to expel the five teams, or force the soccer federation to expel Israel’s league.

On Wednesday, a counter proposal was allegedly offered to the Palestinians by the Jewish State, according to one delegate. The FIFA vote on the Palestinian proposal is slated to take place Friday in Switzerland.

The Palestinian contingent has been complaining because some of its members are stopped at security checkpoints when leaving for international events. Some are prevented from leaving entirely and a few are arrested, in fact.

Hana Levi Julian

Court Sentences Olmert to 8 Months in Jail for Talansky Scandal

Monday, May 25th, 2015

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/court-sentences-olmert-to-8-months-in-jail-for-talansky-scandal/2015/05/25/

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