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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bribery’

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.

Olmert Uses Tony Blair as Character Witness

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert brought to court Tuesday morning a letter from former “peace process” broker Tony Blair in an effort to stay out of jail for his conviction of pocketing approximately $150,000 from Morris Talansky of New York.

The prosecution asked the court to jail Olmert for more up to 18 months. The court will announce sentencing in three weeks.

Blair wrote that Olmert has dedicated his life to the public and to bring peace, for which he should be “admired.”

There are plenty of people who would like to see Olmert in jail for his “peace” efforts, but that is a different case that will be tried by the Divine Court.

Olmert played on the heart-strings of the court Tuesday, whining that if is thrown into jail, what could he say to his grandchild?

He also said he already has been punished because he cannot return to public service.

Olmert also brought documents from Mossad director Meir Dagan.

Rabbi Pinto Pleads Guilty to Bribery

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

“Rabbi of Celebrities” Yoshiyahu Pinto pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of bribery, attempted bribery and obstruction of justice.

He arrived at the Tel Aviv District Court hearing directly from a hospital where he was bang treated after having returned from the United States to Israel.

Rabbi Pinto will be given a reduced sentence because he testified that a senior police officer received a bribe.

The prosecution will ask that Rabbi Pinto be sentenced to one year in jail and fined. He also will be ordered to return a large part of money he pocketed.

Rabbi Metzger to be Indicted for Bribery

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger will be indicted for allegedly stuffing into his pockets nearly $2 million from bribes, he was told Tuesday by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Rabbi Metzger denies all charges.

Police investigations concluded with several charges for bribery, fraud, breach of public trust, money laundering and cheating on taxes while he was serving as the leading light for the Jewish people.

In Israel, not everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but the country is chock full of apparently airtight cases against public officials who eventually are not convicted, often because the police are even more guilty for sloppy work.

A public official, especially a rabbi, must be above suspicion. Barring the possibility, not to be dismissed,  that Rabbi Metzger is squeaky clean and the police have been on another witch hunt, the case is a black stain on the Chief Rabbinate.

The rabbi allegedly helped himself to princely sums of money to help convert people  to Judaism. Rabbi Metzger is from the Haredi community that frowns on conversions of national religious rabbis, who so far have a record of being among the cleanest of public officials.

The indictments cite several examples of Rabbi Metzger’s alleged contributions to his bank account under the guise of increasing the ranks of Jews. One case involved a wealthy Russian businessman who allegedly paid Rabbi Metzger $360,000 to convert his son and daughter.

Supposedly, he taught them the basic laws of the Torah, such as the prohibitions against stealing and not to place an obstacle in the path of the blind, the basis for prohibitions against being a con artist.

The Israeli public never was thrilled with the appointment of Rabbi Metzger as Chief Rabbi from the day he was suggested for the post.

His appointment as Chief Rabbi was rare if not unprecedented because he never had served as a religious judge.

His predecessor was Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, arguably the most popular Chief Rabbi in generations, one who managed to draw praise and respect from all sectors of Israel, including secular and Sephardi Jews.

His shoes were impossible to fill, but Rabbi Metzger was not even a midget compared to Rabbi Lau.

Rabbi Metzger was only 50 years old when appointed in 2003. He had a national religious background but clearly was in the Haredi court.

To Rabbi Metzger’s credit, he initiated a prayer for Jonathan Pollard, one which has been adopted by thousands of synagogues.

During his tenure, he was very active in approving relations between Jews and other religions.

He also announced his disapproval of attempts to separate men and women on buses.

If Rabbi Metzger is acquitted, he will have moral grounds to sue the police and the government for incredible recklessness.

If he is pronounced guilty, whatever punishment he will serve will not correct the loss of faith of Jews in rabbis.

Ehud Olmert’s ‘Talansky Affair’ Re-Opens in Jerusalem District Court

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The corruption trial of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — this one relating to wads of cash from Long Island businessman and philanthropist Rabbi Morris “Moshe” Talansky — has reopened in Jerusalem District Court.

Talansky founded The New Jerusalem Fund together with Olmert. He told the Jerusalem District Court in past testimony that over a period of 13 years he gave the former prime minister about $150,000, most of it in cash, earmarked for campaign and personal expenses. Some was intended as a loan, some not.

The court was set to hear testimony from former Olmert aide Shula Zaken, who has turned state’s witness, as well as from Olmert in defense of himself.

The Israeli leader was convicted of breach of trust in the Holyland Complex affair in 2012 and given a suspended sentence of one year in prison and a fine of NIS 75,000 ($21,000). This year he was convicted of lying to the court in testimony about the case, and was convicted again on one count of breach of trust in the same case.

Olmert was sentenced on May 13, 2014, to six years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million ($430,000), and was to begin serving his sentence yesterday, September 1.

He was acquitted in the Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs, but due to new evidence the Talansky affair was also re-opened today.

All three cases span Olmert’s tenures as mayor of Jerusalem, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Finance Minister and finally as Prime Minister – a period from 1993 to 2009.

Update: President Ruby Rivlin No Longer Under Investigation

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

11:05pm Despite the cacophony surrounding Israel’s newly elected President Reuven Rivlin which opened the Channel 2 TV broadcast this evening at 8pm….Reshet Bet Radio has announced that after discussions between the State’s Attorney and the Government’s Legal Advisor….the Police will not be investigating the President and the case is closed.

Much ado about nothing….back to our regularly scheduled cease fire.


Channel 2 TV reports that President Ruby Rivlin is under investigation by police for allegedly receiving thousands of shekels from Real Estate mogul Dudi Appel a decade ago.

Rivlin claimed the story was previously investigated twice, and closed because he hadn’t done anything wrong.

Appel is currently serving a 3.5 year sentence for a bribery sentence related to some real estate deals in Lod.

Appel was linked to Ariel Sharon and other politicians.

Numerous Associates Sentenced to Prison with Former PM Ehud Olmert

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Several other associates of former prime minister Ehud Olmert were sentenced to prison Tuesday and fined millions of shekels, along with the ex-politician.

Of 13 top public officials and business leaders who were charged in the affair, 10 were convicted on March 31 of charges of bribery, moral turpitude, money laundering and more.

The guilty sentenced today (Tuesday) were:

Dan Dankner,  former chairman of Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s second largest bank. He is currently joint chairman of Israel Salt Industries. Dankner was convicted on charges of offering hundreds of thousands in bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Dankner was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million.

Hillel Cherney, developer of Holyland, the residential complex project that started the nightmare in the first place. He was convicted on 19 charges of corruption and additional charges of breach of trust.  Cherney was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 2 million.

Avigdor Kelner, another developer of Holyland. He was convicted of two charges of corruption. Kelner was sentenced to three years in prison and fined NIS 1 million.

Meir Rabin, a real estate developer. He was charged with mediating the bribery between developers and government officials for Holyland. Rabin was sentenced to five years in prison.

Uri Sheetrit, a former Jerusalem municipal engineer. He was charged with taking bribes. Sheetrit was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Eliezer Simchayoff, a Jerusalem city council member. He was convicted on two counts of bribery and immediately suspended himself following sentencing, pending the outcome of his appeal.  Simchayoff was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined NIS 300,000.

All are expected to appeal to the Supreme Court within a few days.

Others convicted but not sentenced today are:

Shmuel Dachner (deceased), before his death in March 2013 represented Holyland real estate developer Hillel Cherney. Dachner turned state’s witness and gave testimony that formed the core of the case against most of those convicted in March.

Shula Zaken, former top aide to Olmert. Zaken was convicted on charges of corruption and was closely associated with nearly everything the former mayor, minister and prime minister did. She made a plea bargain arrangement with the state that has reportedly led to a prison term of 11 months. She will be formally sentenced this coming Thursday, May 15.

Uri Lupolianski, was assistant mayor to then-Jerusalem mayor Ehud Olmert and then succeeded him in the post. He was convicted on charges of offering  bribes to rezone the land on which the Holyland complex is built. Lupolianski, in poor health, will be sentenced on June 9.

Fines are to be paid in 10 installments, according to the court decision.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/numerous-associates-sentenced-to-prison-with-former-pm-ehud-olmert/2014/05/13/

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