Ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday admitted to two counts of obstruction of justice as part of a plea deal after a years-long legal saga. The Jerusalem Magistrates Court judge convicted Olmert on both counts. It was the first time that Olmert admitted to wrongdoing in any of the cases against him.
The sentence established by the plea deal is six months imprisonment to be served concurrently with his sentence for his role in the Holyland affair. Olmert is also to receive a NIS 50,000 fine. However, the court is not expected to declare whether it accepts the sentence until February 10.
At the center of the obstruction case are recordings supplied by onetime Olmert aide Shula Zaken as state witness. Olmert can be heard in the tapes trying to dissuade her from testifying against him. Olmert was recorded explaining to Zaken that if she declined to testify, it would be impossible to use as evidence the diaries in which she recorded payments to "the secret cash box".
"If you don't get on the witness stand," Olmert was recorded saying, "he (prosecutor Uri Korev) can jump, dance in the air, but he can't convict you. He cannot present these diaries… He'll murder you… and you'll incriminate yourself on the witness stand, that's what bothers me."