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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘plea bargain’

Former PM Ehud Olmert Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday morning to serve six years in prison. The judge also imposed a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000.)  He ordered authorities to seize NIS 500,000 in funds the former prime minister has collected from various sources, including numerous speaking engagements in the United States.

Olmert was ordered to begin serving his prison sentence on September 1, pending appeal.

Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen handed down the sentence in what has become known as the famed “Holyland trial” after Olmert was convicted on two charges of bribery.

The former prime minister was convicted of taking bribes from contractors who built the Holyland residential complex near the Malha Mall in Jerusalem.

The rezoning and other “adjustments” that came in exchange for bribes continued through the 1990s and into the next decade. These were the years in which Olmert served as mayor of the capital city and minister of industry, trade and infrastructure. Both were pivotal posts from which to smooth the way for the developers of the Holyland project.

Olmert was also recently questioned on suspicion of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television. The allegations are based on recordings given to police by former Olmert aide Shula Zaken, his closest aide, also convicted in the wide-ranging Holyland scandal. Zaken gave police the recordings as part of her plea bargain with the prosecution.

The Holyland trial has dragged on for years, tainting Olmert’s term as prime minister and shadowing the country’s years beyond while bringing down numerous aides and colleagues.

Before pronouncing sentence, the judge pointed out that Olmert is an “intelligent, brilliant people person” and called him an “avid Zionist.” He praised him for donating to bereaved families and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center.

But he then sharply reprimanded the former state leader, saying “The crime of bribery pollutes public service, destroys governments…” and called it “one of the worst crimes.”

Rosen said Olmert was guilty of moral turpitude — a term that means the ex-politican will be forced to wait at least seven years before re-entering the field. The judge added that those who take bribes are equivalent to “traitors” in their betrayal of the public trust.

To punish that betrayal, the judge revoked the 10 percent of Olmert’s mayoral pension.

Olmert has been convicted previously charges of corruption. In 2012, he was pronounced guilty of taking bribes in a Jerusalem case.

That trial earned the former mayor and subsequent minister and prime minister a light sentence of community service only. The judge in the case said in his decision that Olmert’s state leadership as prime minister had afforded him the right to leniency.

Not so today, however.  Judge Rosen said in his decision that the higher the post of the public servant, the harsher the punishment for bribery should be.

“Those who belong to the social and economic elite of the nation should not be held to the same standard as those in common society,” Rosen said. He added in explanation that his hands were tied by law in meting out the punishment, and that he was enjoined by those legal guidelines to set a minimum sentence without discretion.

Olmert issued a statement prior to sentencing saying that he was innocent and protesting an expected sentence that included prison time.

“This is a sad day on which a severe and unjust verdict is to be handed down to an innocent man,” Olmert said in his statement.

He has 45 days to appeal in Supreme Court – which he plans to do,, said Olmert spokesperson Amir Dan. He added that he hopes “the real picture will emerge and the verdict will change completely.”

To the eternal shame of the State of Israel, this is the first time in the history of the nation that a prime minister has been convicted of a felony and sent to prison. Likewise, former president Moshe Katsav is currently serving time in prison for having raped and sexually assaulted his female employees.

Olmert will appeal the conviction and sentence in the Supreme Court, spokesperson Amir Dan said. His attorney Eli Zohar is expected to file a request for a stay of sentence in the meantime.

Hana Levi Julian

Officer Who Smacked Provocateur Gets Community Service, Discharge

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Read also: ‘It All Started When an Israeli Officer Hit Back’

This Dreyfus trial is over, with the predictable Dreyfusy results. Israel has just destroyed one of its best and brightest over a cooked video. There will be no second chances.

A military court in Tel Aviv on Thursday accepted the plea deal between the military prosecution and Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, according to which Eisner will spend 2 months of community service at one of the ground forces, and then will retire at the earliest possible age of 43.

The court decision read: “We find that the arrangement is reasonable and we should adopt it.”

Back in April, 2012, large group of 250 European and Palestinian activists belonging to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were on a bicycle trip in the Jordan Valley, a region which has enjoyed relative peace in the relationship between local Arabs and the IDF, even as Judea and Samaria were ignited in violent clashes.

This very large group of dedicated agents provocateurs rode through one of the villages in the valley, and when they tried to get on highway 90, which runs the length of Judea and Samaria alongside the Jordan River, they encountered Israeli soldiers and border policemen who demanded their return to the village, because the activists had not coordinated their trip with security forces.

It should be noted that, for security reasons, Palestinian traffic on highway 90 is curbed and monitored by several checkpoints. This is part of Israel’s overall effort to prevent unceasing Palestinian attempts to attack Jewish targets both within and outside the “green line.”

It should also be noted that, as the ISM itself states this plainly, it is their mission to open up those road blocks, so that “the Palestinian popular resistance,” e.g. the Islamist Jihad and Al Fatah, be able to renew their attacks on Jewish targets.

According to the Deputy Commander of the Valley Brigade, Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, the event, in which IDF soldiers were trying to block the passage of 250 cyclists, lasted about two hours, only a few minutes of which are shown in the video.

Once told they could not proceed, Eisner said, “the activists tried to block the Jordan Valley road. We were the last vestige between them and the highway, and the protesters tried to pass us again and again, even though we insisted and explained to them that they are forbidden to break into a military zone.”

At some point during that two-hour event, an ISM agent attacked Eisner, and broke two of his fingers. Take a look at the way the Israeli officer is holding his weapon, and you’ll realize he is actually responding to a dangerous demonstrator, rather than attacking him unprovoked. He was provoked and then some.

“I’ve learned my lesson from the incident and will never again be dragged into provocation,” Eisner told Ma’ariv back in 2012, “but you must understand the whole situation, in which we were trying for two hours to stop lawbreakers. I simply did my job.”

And that good deed is certainly not going unpunished.

For his part, Lt. Col. Eisner, who was about to become head of a major IDF training facility when career veered off a cliff, said he was satisfied with the verdict, and as the judges left the room, he was heard to say: “this is now behind us.”

It means it could have gone even worse.

The community service is to start in February.

Yori Yanover

IDF Officer Who Hit Anarchist to Keep His Job for Now

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

An IDF military court decided to go with a modified plea bargain agreement for Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner, who had been set to be kicked out of the army.

Eisner had hit a foreign anarchist in the face, who was trying to block Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley. During the 2 hour altercation that preceded Eisner’s actions, one of the activists broke the fingers in Eisner’s hand.

The activists had filmed the April 2012 incident and disseminated a selectively edited video showing Eisner striking uncooperative anarchists with his rifle – something a lot of soldiers probably wish they could do to these foreign provocateurs.

What the film did not show was that before Eisner hit the foreign leftists, other anarchists had broken two of the officer’s fingers, and the scenes of the anarchists using their bicycles to hit and push the soldiers were also mostly cut out.

The court ordered Eisner to serve two months of public service, after which he can remain in his position for a year, instead of being dismissed right away which is what the original plea bargain had stipulated. Eisner was supposed to head up the prestigious Bahad 1 officer’s school in the Negev.

High ranking army officers, as well as the mother of a fallen soldier who was brought to burial by Eisner, praised Eisner for his sensitivity and character.

Hagit Rein, whose son was killed in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and was brought to burial by Eisner, burst out into tears as she told the military court of Eisner’s sensitivity and involvement with the burial of her son.

At the time, no one was able to retrieve her son’s body which was trapped in the middle of a combat zone in Lebanon. Eisner upon hearing about it, jumped into a jeep, drove out, and brought the soldier’s body back to Israel.

Senior IDF officer Yehkezkiel Agai testified, “Shalom and I served together in the tank unit, I brought him into his current position as deputy commander because he is trustworthy and dedicated to his job. He is like a man who never received a traffic ticket for 40 years and then is suddenly involved in a serious accident.

“There is no question about the qualities of Shalom. There is no problem with his values or  behavior. He just make a mistake.”

Sami Turgeman, head of the Southern Command, told the military judges, “As a commander of ground forces, I often have to face officers in positions that they do not like. Eisner willingly took the position as the Jordan Valley division deputy commander which is not convenient from a personal standpoint and for family life. I have no doubt that he is a highly motivated officer.”

However, Nitzan Alon head of Central Command and a long-time thorn in the side of national religious officers such as Eisner, told the court that despite Eisner’s excellent qualities, “I saw professional failures in maintaining control.”

The incident began when 250 anarchists rode their bicycles onto Highway 90, the only highway connecting the southern and northern ends of the Jordan Valley, with the stated aim of blocking the road in an illegal protest.

The division commander was on vacation at the time and left instructions for Eisner to call the police if there was any trouble.

Eisner had instead decided to deal with the protesters himself.

Anarchists struggled with the soldiers, and some of them were also “bumping” their bicycles into the IDF soldiers as a “non-violent” provocation. With two broken fingers, Eisner’s patience ran out when one of the protesters purposely stood in his way as he and his soldiers were trying to clear the demonstrators off the highway.

After the video of the confrontation went viral, Eisner was removed from duty until an investigation was completed.

In September, Eisner reached the plea bargain agreement, reported here.

On the surface, Eisner came out better than expected, because he can return to his present position after two months of public service, and will retire from the army in another year instead of being forced out right away.

Unfortunately the mistake here is that he is being forced to retire at all.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Liberman’s Attorneys Will Bargain for Plea with AG, But Disgrace Charge May Become FM’s Career Ender

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Attorneys for the former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, whose resignation will take effect this week, will today meet with the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, to examine the possibility of reaching a plea bargain in the case of the ambassador to Belarus.

In 2008 the Israel’s ambassador to Belarus Zeev Ben Aryeh received a request from the prosecution to assist in the investigation of Liberman. Ben Aryeh handed Liberman a copy of the request, which the latter claims he scanned, saw that it was inappropriate for him to read it, then tore up and flushed the document.

Ambassador Ben Aryeh has already been sentenced to 4 months in jail—commuted to community service—for interfering with the investigation.

Despite the fact that Liberman on Friday said he would forgo a plea bargain and go directly to trial, he now, apparently, realized that without a plea bargain the trial couldn’t possibly be over before the elections, which could damage the ability of the accused to participate effectively in his own reelection efforts.

One key element in the prosecution’s demands, whether in a plea deal or in the suit, would be the inclusion of a “kalon” or “disgrace” charge, normally used in cases involving political figures and civil servants. The problem with the “kalon” charge is that, once convicted of it, the accused may not seek political office for a prescribed period of time (seven years, in the case of Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin).

Sources close to the case are convinced that AG Weinstein is not going to give up the disgrace charge easily, having been forced to close the main case against Liberman for lack of substantial evidence.

That main case, the result of a 6-year investigation, attributed to Liberman charges of money laundering, fraud, deceit, breach of trust, and the acceptance of millions of dollars through foreign companies from Austrian entrepreneur Martin Schlaff and Israeli-Uzbeki businessman Michael Cherney, while serving in public positions.

Hell hath no fury as an attorney general scorned…

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/libermans-attorneys-will-bargain-for-plea-with-ag-but-disgrace-charge-may-become-fms-career-ender/2012/12/17/

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