“One of the most significant corruption trials in Israel’s history” gives 2 acquittals, 1 guilty verdict
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Ehud Olmert, former Israeli prime minister, from 2006 to 2009, has been found guilty on one count of breach of trust and he has been acquitted on two other charges, in what the Jerusalem Post is calling “one of the most significant corruption trials in Israel’s history”. What the significance is varies, depending on your point of view: the BBC carries a headline “Olmert convicted by Israeli court” while the J-Post has “Former PM Olmert acquitted on central corruption charges”.
The two more serious corruption charges, where he was acquitted, covered 2000-2006, when he was mayor of Jerusalem and then a government minister. The first involved charges that he “double-billed various nonprofit organizations for overseas flights, and used the extra money – which the prosecution alleges totaled over $92,000 – to pay for private trips for himself and his family, via his travel agency Rishon Tours”, according to the J-Post, while the second, known as the Talansky Affair, claimed he received hundreds of thousands of dollars from US businessman Morris Talansky.
He was, however, found guilty of granting illegal favors to a former partner, Uri Messer, who applied to the Investment Center for grants and benefits while Olmert was the minister for industry, trade and labour.
A former assistant was found guilty on charges related to the two corruption affairs.
The corruption scandal cut short his time in office; Olmert resigned in 2009 under the weight of the charges.