Tuesday, April 14, 2015

One-Day Wonder: Olmert Convicted

"Olmert, former Israeli prime minister, is convicted of fraud" by Isabel Kershner, New York Times  March 31, 2015

JERUSALEM — Ehud Olmert, the former Israeli prime minister who was forced from office under a cloud of corruption, was convicted Monday of fraud and breach of trust in a retrial of a case involving a US businessman whose sensational testimony in a Jerusalem court in 2008 was instrumental in Olmert’s downfall.

This was Olmert’s third conviction on corruption charges since 2012, and he is already facing prison time.

The American businessman, Morris Talansky, said at the time of his testimony that he had provided Olmert with about $150,000 over 13 years, mostly in cash stuffed into envelopes, which Olmert vehemently denied. Talansky had said that much of the money was earmarked for election campaigns but that some was for Olmert’s personal expenses.

I wonder where those connections really lead.

The prosecution said then the money had been funneled to Olmert from 1992, when he first ran for mayor of Jerusalem, to late 2005, when he was minister of industry and trade. He became prime minister in early 2006, and his three-year tenure was dogged by police investigations.

Court documents subsequently said Talansky had transferred a total of about $600,000 to Olmert, including a small amount in donations from Talansky’s relatives.

“The battle against corruption is long and stubborn,” a lawyer for the prosecution, Uri Korb, told reporters after the verdict Monday. “It takes a long time, but, at long last, justice prevails.”

Eyal Rosovsky, a lawyer for Olmert, said the defense team was “very disappointed” with the ruling and would decide whether to appeal.

Monday’s conviction in Jerusalem District Court came a year after Olmert was convicted of taking bribes in another case involving the construction of a huge housing complex in Jerusalem. A judge sentenced Olmert to six years in prison in that case, dashing any hopes the former prime minister might have had of a political comeback. The start of that sentence has been postponed pending an appeal. 

Olmert was acquitted in July 2012 of corruption charges in the Talansky case and in a case involving travel expenses.


"Olmert is alleged to have double-billed for flights he booked through a travel agency called Rishon Tours. He was accused of falsifying receipts and using the tens of thousands of dollars surplus to pay for private family holidays. Among charities he is accused of double-billing were the Simon Weisenthal Centre, the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and the World Jewish Congress."

Whatta $cum!

The retrial came after Shula Zaken, Olmert’s longtime aide and confidante, became a state witness and testified against him, providing the police with her diaries and tapes she had made of apparently incriminating conversations she had had with Olmert.

Eli Zohar, a lawyer who represented Olmert in this and previous cases, told reporters Monday that Zaken’s tape recordings were “selective” and that many parts of the conversations were missing.


He's also know as the butcher of Lebanon, but the jew$paper seems to have forgotten that.