Israel: Former PM Faces Retrial on Corruption Charges
A Supreme Court panel has ordered a retrial of the Talansky affair, in which former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was originally acquitted on corruption charges.
As the Jewish News Service explains, in 2008 prosecutors found that undeclared funds from US businessman Morris Talansky were accepted by Olmert during his time as mayor of Jerusalem in the 1990s and as a cabinet minister in the early 2000s. Facing indictment then, Olmert resigned.
The 2012 the Jerusalem District Court ruled in favor of Olmert, acquitting him of charges of fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and falsifying corporate records, according to The Times of Israel. However, a former assistant Shula Zaken, who had been convicted for fraudulently obtaining benefits, fraud and breach of trust, came forth with new evidence. In her plea bargain she provided recordings of conversations between her and Olmert.
The Jerusalem Post reports the Olmert’s spokesperson expressed confidence after the panel’s decision Wednesday that after the evidence is clarified “There will be no reason to change the decision to acquit Mr. Olmert”.
However, Olmert’s legal problems seem far from over. He faces a six-year prison sentence recently meted out in a separate real estate case. And, Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis has written about the Talansky case that “It appears on an initial basis that attempts were made by Olmert to influence Zaken not to testify in the [Talansky] trial”.