A judge says Ehud Olmert took bribes from a developer while he was mayor of Jerusalem
The developer had been previously convicted of bribing Olmert and other officials
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for taking bribes while mayor of Jerusalem.
He was also fined $25,700.
He was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003, and took over as Prime Minister in 2006 after a stroke incapacitated Ariel Sharon.
The new sentence is in addition to the six years in prison Olmert is already facing for taking bribes related to a controversial Jerusalem housing project – also while he was mayor.
American businessman Morris Talansky told prosecutors that he donated or loaned thousands of dollars to Olmert for political reasons, but he appeared to pay for luxury expenses instead.
Talansky told prosecutors he donated or loaned thousands of dollars to Olmert for political reasons, but they also appeared to pay for luxury expenses.
“I only know that he loved expensive cigars. I know he loved pens, watches. I found it strange,” Talansky testified in 2009. He said he gave Olmert $150,000 in loans and direct payments over 14 or 15 years.
During the trial in 2015, the businessman described how he would go to hotels and hand over envelopes stuffed with cash to Olmert.
He said he once paid for Olmert’s $4,700 hotel bill at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington.
In another instance, the businessman gave him a $15,000 loan and asked him to return the money as soon as possible.
“Famous last words,” Talansky said, explaining that he hadn’t been repaid.
Olmert’s lawyers on Monday asked for a 45-day delay before the sentence is carried out. They are expected to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court.
Olmert was also sentenced on the bribery case known as the Holyland case.
Olmert was also fined 1 million shekels (about $289,000), Israeli state radio IB reported.
The developer of Holyland, Hillel Cherney, had been previously convicted of bribing Olmert and other high-level officials in exchange for Holyland approvals.
Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.