Former Israeli P.M sentenced for Taking Bribe


Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has

been sentenced to eight months in prison for taking cash

from an American businessman.

He was also fined $25,700.

Police said Olmert received the money from 1993 through

2006, during his tenure as Jerusalem’s mayor and while

holding ministerial positions under former Prime Minister

Ariel Sharon. He took over as prime minister in 2006 after a

stroke incapacitated Sharon.

The new sentence is in addition to the six years in prison

Olmert is already facing for taking bribes related to a

controversial Jerusalem housing project — also while he

was mayor.

Olmert was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003. He

served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009.

The latest case involves American businessman Morris


Talansky told prosecutors he donated or loaned thousands

of dollars to Olmert for political reasons, but they also

appeared to pay for luxury expenses.

“I only know that he loved expensive cigars. I know he loved

pens, watches. I found it strange,” Talansky testified in

2009. He said he Olmert $150,000 in loans and direct

payments over 14 or 15 years.

Talansky provided colorful testimony, describing how he

would go to hotels and give cash-filled envelopes to Olmert.

He also told how he picked up Olmert’s $4,700 hotel bill at

the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. “He was the guest of my

credit card,” Talansky said.

In another instance, Olmert asked for a $15,000 loan, and

Talansky said he would like to see the money returned as

soon as possible.

“Famous last words,” said Talansky, explaining that he

hadn’t been repaid.

Olmert’s lawyers on Monday asked for a 45-day delay

before the sentence is carried out. They are expected to

appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court.

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