Ehud Olmert

Analysis: Former PM in dock after years of allegations

By Anshel Pfeffer, September 3, 2009

The accusations against Ehud Olmert in the indictment go back 20 years, all the way to a plane ticket allegedly bought for his wife with illegal funds.

Rumours of financial wrongdoing, both on a personal level and connected to party finance, have been swirling around him since the 1970s. He still managed to become a senior minister, a two-term Jerusalem mayor, a prime minister and the second longest-serving Knesset member in Israeli history after the eternal Shimon Peres. How did he get so far and why finally now, after scaling every possible height in political life, is he facing trial?

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Men on death row for ‘Israel emails’

March 26, 2009

A man has been sentenced to death in Yemen having been accused of forging links with Israel.

Bassam al-Haidari, 26, was condemned after allegedly writing to Ehud Olmert, the then Israeli prime minister, offering to work as an agent for Mossad. Two other men were also convicted this week.

Israel denied any having had contact with the three men.

Ali Abdullah al-Mahfal, 24, was jailed for five years and Emad Ali al-Raimi, 23, was sentenced to a three-year term.

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Olmert blames Shalit’s parents

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 19, 2009

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has blamed the intensive media campaign for the release of Gilad Shalit for the breakdown of the talks over a possible prisoner deal — and told his family that they may have harmed his cause.

This week the Israeli government announced that it had refused Hamas demands for the release of 450 senior terrorists, many of them jailed for life for murder.

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Olmert date

February 5, 2009

Members of an emergency UK mission to the Negev met Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The 30 participants in the JNF and One Family trip also visited schools damaged by rocket attacks and met soldiers and civilians injured during the Gaza conflict.

JNF UK chairman Samuel Hayek told Mr Olmert that the group conveyed “the UK Jewish community’s strong feelings of support, empathy, respect and solidarity at this time”.

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Free Shalit is Olmert’s final goal

By Yaakov Katz, January 29, 2009

With general elections two weeks away and Israel’s operation in Gaza against Hamas seemingly completed, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has set a new goal for himself before he leaves office — the return of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.

Despite the military action, the likelihood of a prisoner swap being agreed in the coming weeks is believed to have grown since Israel ended Operation Cast Lead.

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Olmert scorns idea of ‘economic peace’

By Daniella Peled and Anshel Pfeffer, December 18, 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert poured scorn on the concept of boosting the Palestinian economy as a way of achieving peace during a 24-hour visit to London this week.

Speaking at a gathering of Jewish community leaders, he described “a new concept: an economic peace which will help to bring a real peace.
“I wish it could be true, but I know it is an illusion, a slogan.”

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Analysis: Olmert’s air miles have proved costly

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 11, 2008

Ehud Olmert’s wanderlust has been well documented by the Israeli media. In his second term as Jerusalem mayor, which lasted four and a half years, he clocked up no less than 294 days in 55 trips outside Israel. His destinations ranged from Japan to Brazil, but his favourite city was New York, where his good friend, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, awarded him the rare privilege of being allowed to park anywhere in the Big Apple.

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Olmert and Treasury in clash over pension plan

By Yaakov Katz, December 4, 2008

With two months left until the general election, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On exchanged barbs this week over their different approaches to a pension safety net.

In a rare step, four of the top Finance Ministry officials wrote to the Prime Minister to accuse his office of acting illegally to sidestep the Treasury’s authority.

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Downing Street to host Mid East talks

December 3, 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has invited the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, to talks at 10 Downing Street on December 15.

He has also invited the Israeli premier, Ehud Olmert, for separate discussions on the same day.

On the agenda for both the Mid East prime ministers will be economic regeneration for the Palestinian region and long- and short-term prospects for peace in the area.

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Mazuz plans to indict Olmert for corruption

By Yaakov Katz and Nathan Guttman, November 27, 2008

After a long and highly publicised police investigation, Israel's Attorney General Menahem Mazuz announced Wednesday night that he was planning to indict Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on corruption charges.

Mr Mazuz said that his final decision would be made pending a hearing for Mr Olmert and his lawyers, during which he will give the beleaguered prime minister an opportunity to present his defence. Such a hearing is typically offered to government officials prior to their indictment.

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