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Sentencing for Olmert stuns Israel

Other prominent Israeli figures convicted by the country's justice system:

— President Moshe Katsav was Israel's highest ranking official ever jailed. Katsav was forced to resign in June 2007 to face rape, sexual harassment and other charges dating back to his time as a government minister. He was convicted of rape and other sex crimes and began a seven-year sentence in 2011.

— Tzachi Hanegbi, an influential Israeli politician, was suspended from parliament in 2010 after convicted of perjury. He later returned to parliament.

— Shlomo Benizri was jailed in 2009 after convicted of taking bribes when he served as employment and social affairs minister in 2002 and 2003. He served two-and-a-half years of a four-year sentence.

— Ex-Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson was jailed in 2009 for embezzling millions from a union he used to run.

— Omri Sharon, son of ex-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, served a few months in jail in 2008 after being convicted on campaign funding violations.

— Olmert ally Haim Ramon, a longtime Cabinet minister, was convicted in March 2007 of kissing a female soldier against her will. He was sentenced to community service and later returned to government.

— Aryeh Deri, leader of the large Ultra-Orthodox Shas party was jailed in 2000 for bribe-taking. He served almost two years.

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By The Washington Post
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced on Tuesday to six years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of about $290,000. He was convicted in March of taking bribes from real estate developers when he was mayor of Jerusalem more than a decade ago.

Describing Olmert's acts as moral turpitude, Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen said the higher the public post of an individual, the tougher the punishment for bribery should be.

The judge's harsh words and the prospect of jail time for a former prime minister — Olmert served in the post from 2006 to 2009 — sent shock waves through Israel's political establishment and society, with many referring to it as a sad day in the nation's history.

This is the first time such a high-level Israeli official has been found guilty of a breach-of-trust crime, although former president Moshe Katsav is serving a seven-year sentence for rape, and several government ministers have been convicted of crimes.

“This is a sad day for me, personally,” President Shimon Peres told Israeli reporters during a state visit to Norway. “But this is the legal process which is custom in democratic states.”

Six other officials in the case were sentenced, including Olmert's chief engineer, Uri Shitrit, who will serve seven years. The others received three- to five-year sentences. Additional officials, including another former Jerusalem mayor, Uri Lupolianski, will be sentenced in the coming months for their parts in the affair.

 

 
 


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