No Turpitude: Olmert
Photo: Omer Meron

Olmert case: State drops moral turpitude demand

Prosecutor's office reconsiders demand for moral turpitude in Investment Center case against former PM Olmert after he decides to waive benefits

The State Prosecutor's Office has reconsidered its intention of demanding that the court apply moral turpitude to former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offense in the Investment Center case.


Olmert was found guilty of breach of trust in the Investment Center case.


During a court hearing on the case held on Wednesday, the prosecution stated that Olmert's decision to waive the benefits for which he is eligible as a former prime minister makes their request redundant.


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However, the prosecution did ask that Olmert receive a six month sentence which can be converted to community service and that he be put on probation and forced to pay a fine.

דרישה ל-6 חודשי עבודות שירות, מאסר על תנאי וקנס. אולמרט בבית המשפט, היום (צילום: עומר מירון)

Olmert in court on Wednesday (Photo: Omer Meron)


Olmert's defense attorney Eli Zohar asked that his client does not receive a prison sentence. He claimed that "in the unique and exceptional circumstances of this affair, Olmert has been punished enough, even too much. This is why it was argued that he should not receive an additional punishment."


Deputy State Prosecutor Eli Abarbanel, who served as Jerusalem District Prosecutor when Olmert was indicted, explained the prosecution's demands with regards to Olmert's sentence: "The accused was exonerated of many sections of the indictment, including those that contributed to his resignation.


"This should be taken into account, though it has limited weight (in the matter at hand). You cannot ignore the way that the defendant was exonerated. An additional consideration should be the defendant's contribution to the State over a 30 year period."


Over the next few weeks, the prosecution will hold meetings on the matter and will determine whether or not the State will appeal Olmert's exoneration of the Talansky Affair and the Rishon Tours double billing scandal.


In their verdict in the Investment Center Case, the court criticized Olmert and found him at fault for gross conflict of interest in his dealings with longtime confidante Uri Messer. "The defendant was found at fault on this account on four different occasions," they said.


Launched in 2007, the investigation focused on suspicions that Olmert was involved in political appointments in Israel's Small and Medium Enterprise Authority (SMEA) during his tenure as industry, trade and labor minister.


A subsequent inquiry revealed a much wider scope of offences, pointing to 260 appointments or fringe benefits Olmert was responsible for as part of his various public positions.




פרסום ראשון: 09.05.12, 15:15
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