A Tel Aviv District Court judge postponed the sentencing of former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski in the Holyland affair Monday, after Lupolianski was hospitalized.
Judge David Rozen, who was set to rule on whether the cancer-stricken Lupolianski would serve time in prison after he was convicted of taking bribes in the Holyland case, rescheduled the hearing for June 19.
Lupolianski was not present at the hearing after he was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital Sunday with pneumonia. His lawyers had requested that Rozen go ahead with the sentencing in his absence, but the judge said that he had yet to come to a decision.
Lupolianski was one of nine people, including former prime minister Ehud Olmert, convicted of wrongdoing in Holyland graft case, considered Israel’s most serious corruption scandal.
The prosecution was seeking jail time for Lupolianski, with the former mayor serving his sentence at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where he would receive any necessary treatments. The prosecution said it took into consideration his health as well as the fact that he used the bribe to help fund Yad Sarah, a charitable organization for the disabled he founded in the 1970s.
Rozen has told prosecutors that he is leaning toward a light sentence for Lupolianski due to the circumstances, according to Israeli news source Ynet.
Holyland is a hulking hilltop development that Jerusalem residents long suspected was tainted by corruption. The case broke in 2010 after Shmuel Dachner, a businessman who was involved in the project, turned state’s witness. Dachner died last year from an illness, in the midst of the trial and before Olmert’s counsel had completed its cross-examination of him.
Olmert was sentenced last month to six years in prison, a two-year suspended term, and a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000) for his role in the affair.
Yifa Yaakov contributed to this report.