Former Prime Minister Olmert sentenced to six years in prison for bribery

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday morning to six years in prison on bribery charges in the biggest corruption scandal in Israel’s history.

Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes in exchange for expediting the permit process for the Holyland real estate development while he was mayor of the city, years before his premiership. The sentencing comes 10 years after the state began its investigation.

Olmert, who was acquitted of similar charges in a different case, had held out hope for a return to politics if he were acquitted in this case, too. Olmert is planning on appealing the court’s decision.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert enters the courtroom at the Tel Aviv District Court prior to the reading of his sentence in the Holyland trial, May 13 2014 (Photo: Activestills.org)
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert enters the courtroom at the Tel Aviv District Court prior to the reading of his sentence in the Holyland trial, May 13 2014 (Photo: Activestills.org)

Olmert served two terms as mayor of Jerusalem between 1993 and 2003, and was the prime minister of Israel from 2006 until 2009. During his term as prime minister, Olmert launched the Second Lebanon War in 2006, took part in the 2007 Annapolis Peace Conference headed by former U.S. President George W. Bush and sent the Israeli army to invade Gaza in Operation Cast Lead.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President George W. Bush, and President Mahmoud Abbas at Annapolis, November 27, 2007 (Photo: Gin Kai)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President George W. Bush, and President Mahmoud Abbas at Annapolis, November 27, 2007 (Photo: Gin Kai)