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Middle east

Former Israeli PM Olmert fined in breach of trust case

Latest update : 2012-09-24

Israel’s former premier Ehud Olmert received a suspended jail sentence and more than $19,000 in fines for breach of trust Monday. Olmert faces separate bribery charges related to a controversial housing project while he was mayor of Jerusalem.

An Israeli court spared former prime minister Ehud Olmert a prison term over a conviction for breach of trust on Monday, potentially paving his way to a political comeback.

Dogged by corruption scandals as he tried to forge a peace deal with the Palestinians, Olmert resigned in 2008. Though found guilty in July of cronyism while in a former cabinet post, he was acquitted of more serious bribery charges.

Jerusalem District Court handed Olmert a suspended one-year jail sentence and a 75,300-shekel ($19,225) fine. Had he been put behind bars, the 66-year-old centrist politician might have been prevented from returning to public office.

“I leave court today walking tall,” Olmert told reporters, without elaborating on his plans.

After his conviction, Olmert, who denied all wrongoing, said he had no intention of reentering politics. The party he once led, Kadima, now heads the opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist Likud.

A comeback would likely depend on the outcome of a separate bribery case over Olmert’s role, as Jerusalem mayor from 1993 to 2003, in a controversial housing project.

“This is not over,” deputy Israeli state prosecutor Eli Abravanel said after Monday’s sentencing.


Date created : 2012-09-24


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