Olmert beats corruption charges
Israel’s Ehud Olmert was acquitted of major corruption charges yesterday but convicted of breach of trust, in what was widely seen as a stunning victory for the former prime minister.
Olmert resigned in 2008 after the allegations surfaced, cutting short his pursuit of a peace deal with the Palestinians.
The three-judge court’s rejection of key accusations that drove the veteran politician from office raised questions in Israel about whether prosecutors had been over-zealous.
“There is justice in Jerusalem,” Olmert, 66, said after the ruling.
The verdict defied widespread expectations of a full conviction. The court found Olmert not guilty of charges that he received, while a cabinet minister and Jerusalem’s mayor, $150,000 in bribes from a US businessman and defrauded Israeli charities by double-billing them for overseas fundraising trips.
Sentencing for breach of trust will be in September.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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