Israel's ex-PM Ehud Olmert convicted of bribery

Ehud Olmert (file photo) Olmert had been under investigation for several years

Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who resigned from office in 2008 amid a corruption inquiry, has been found guilty in a bribery trial.

Olmert was convicted in what is known as the "Holyland affair" in which bribes were paid to speed up a luxury property development in Jerusalem.

He has already been cleared in several other corruption trials.

The 68-year-old former Kadima party leader had denied wrongdoing and had hinted at a political comeback.

The offences happened when Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem and subsequently a government minister.

Delivering the verdict in Tel Aviv on Monday, Judge David Rozen said the case "exposed governance that grew more corrupt and rotten over the years, with bribes paid to public officials," the Associated Press news agency reported.

Olmert succeeded Ariel Sharon as Prime Minister after the latter had a stroke in January 2006. He was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.

In 2012 Olmert was cleared of two major corruption charges but convicted of illegally granting favours to a business friend during his time as trade and industry minister under Mr Sharon.

He was fined $19,000 and given a one-year suspended jail sentence.

The Holyland affair saw millions of dollars in bribes change hands in one of the biggest corruption scandals in Israel's history.

As prime minister, Olmert pursued peace talks with the Palestinians and made an extensive offer of land-for-peace in 2008. He also oversaw the 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon but subsequently struggled with low approval ratings.

More on This Story

From other news sites

* May require registration or subscription

More Middle East stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.