Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, who succeeded Ariel Sharon in office after Sharon's stroke, was sentenced to six years in prison today by an Israeli judge.
Mr. Olmert was found guilty six weeks after a sweeping, yearslong investigation into the planning process surrounding the hulking, hated apartment complex in southern Jerusalem known as Holyland. A judge in 2010 called it “one of the worst corruption affairs in Israeli history”...
Judge Rozen, in issuing a searing 700-page verdict on March 31, said that Mr. Olmert “told lies in court” and that his version of events “has been rejected by me in every way.” The judge found that half a million shekels — about $144,000 today — had been funneled in a series of postdated checks from a financier hired to ease Holyland’s path through the city planning process to Mr. Olmert’s brother, Yossi.
Mr. Olmert was ordered Tuesday to pay restitution plus a fine of nearly $300,000.
Olmert resigned his position as prime minister in 2008 amidst unbelievably low approval ratings (three percent?!?), multiple corruption allegations and the widespread belief among Israelis that he had badly mismanaged the nation's war with Lebanon.