A day after Tel Aviv District Court found former prime minister Ehud Olmert of bribe taking during the development of a land deal in Jerusalem, State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan sent a letter of congratulations to the team of state attorneys prosecuting the trial.
"This is a sad day for Israel, having a former prime minister and other public officials and tycoons convicted of bribery. But at the same time, the State of Israel has proven that it doesn't matter how high up the ladder one is, no one is above the law, and for that it should be proud.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert - Holyland verdict (Photo: Tomer Applebaum)
"Those who have sinned through bribery or other corruption offense deserve to be prosecuted and convicted," Nitzan wrote. He vowed that the State Prosecutor's Office would continue to fight for justice in Israel and called the Holyland trial a major milestone in that fight.
"The state prosecution will continue to be a weapon in the fight for moral integrity, and today, after a long and bumpy road, you have reached an important goal in that fight," said Nitzan.
Nitzan also took the opportunity to praise Tel Aviv District Attorney Liat Ben-Ari and the team handling the high-profile case.
"This is a great professional accomplishment which was preceded by a tremendous effort. You and your team deserve all the praise, because you have shown superb determination, professionalism, honesty and diligence in this colossal, multi-defendants and complicated case."
Yonatan Tadmor, the trial prosecutor, said that, "from now on, anyone taking or giving bribes will know they are not immune from the law. These actions are bound to be revealed."
Tadmor added that, "It is hard to overstate the seriousness of these actions, and the damage they have caused to an entire public that has lost its faith in the people it chose to represent it honestly and decently, and not greedily."