Former prime minister Ehud Olmert was convicted today of obstructing justice in two corruption cases against him after pleading guilty under a plea bargain reached with the State Prosecutor’s Office.
Under the terms of the deal, both the defense and prosecution requested of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court that Olmert receive a NIS 50,000 fine ($13,000) and six months in jail, to be served concurrently with the 18-month term he received over his role in the Holyland real estate scandal.
The court has until February 10 to deliver a verdict on the sentence.
The deal represented the first admission of wrongdoing by the former minister and Yerushalayim mayor, who has consistently maintained his innocence in over eight years of legal proceedings in various graft cases.
Olmert tried to persuade his former secretary Shula Zaken not to testify against him in the Holyland case and a second affair involving money from a US businessman and offered her money in exchange for her silence.
In secret recordings made by Zaken, Olmert can be heard saying, “If I am not acquitted, no one will be acquitted.”
The recordings also reveal an offer to have her legal fees paid for in exchange for keeping quiet.
The deal, which was reached on January 18, represents a last-ditch effort by Olmert’s legal team to avoid further jail time after sentences were handed down in the Holyland and Talansky affairs. Read more at Times of Israel.