Olmert on trial again for corruption in Talansky affair
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Olmert on trial again for corruption in Talansky affair

Former PM had been acquitted of charges, but will face them again in wake of new testimony from his former aide

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert at his sentencing at the Tel Aviv District Court, Tuesday, May 13, 2014 (photo credit: Ami Shooman/Flash90)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert at his sentencing at the Tel Aviv District Court, Tuesday, May 13, 2014 (photo credit: Ami Shooman/Flash90)

The legal travails of former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who was sentenced earlier this year to a six-year prison sentence for accepting bribes in the Holyland Case, continued Tuesday, as the Jerusalem District Court re-convened to deliberate another ongoing corruption case against him, known as the Talansky affair.

In August the Supreme Court ordered a retrial of the case, saying it would allow new testimony from Olmert’s former assistant Shula Zaken, including recordings of conversations between Olmert and Zaken, who provided the information last spring as part of a plea bargain.

Olmert is also to take the stand in his defense during the course of the new trial.

In May, Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for accepting bribes in the real estate scam known as the “Holyland affair” and ordered to report to prison on September 1, but the prison date was suspended pending his appeal.

In 2012, the Jerusalem District Court acquitted Olmert on charges of fraud, tax evasion and falsifying corporate records in what became known as the Talansky and Rishon Tours affairs.

Still, he was found guilty on a lesser charge of breach of trust in what was known as the Investment Center case.

Olmert was accused of paying for family vacations by double billing Jewish organizations through the Rishon Tours travel agency, accepting envelopes full of cash from American businessman and fundraiser Morris Talansky, and granting personal favors to attorney Uri Messer when he served as trade minister in the Investment Center case.

The charges were filed after he became prime minister in 2006, but covered his time as mayor of Jerusalem and later as a government minister. He officially resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted.

Zaken was convicted on two counts of fraudulently obtaining benefits and breach of trust in the Rishon Tours case. In the Holyland case, a judge accepted her plea bargain and sentenced her to 11 months in prison for accepting bribes.

JTA contributed to this report.

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