Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Olmert trial opens despite delay threat

    Ehud Olmert: facing three charges
    Ehud Olmert: facing three charges

    The trial of Israel's former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, was due to open on Thursday in the Jerusalem District Court. He is being charged over three separate cases of corruption.
    Mr Olmert, who was forced to resign last year over the allegations, was indicted in September on charges of fraud, breach of trust, falsifying records, tax evasions and fraudulently obtaining benefits.

    The State Prosecution has combined the three cases together. The first charge concerns American businessman Morris Talansky, who claims to have given Mr Olmert large sums of money which were not reported. The second concerns the Rishon Tours travel company. Mr Olmert is suspected of double-billing for appearances abroad and using the proceeds to finance travel overseas for him and his family. The third is the Investment Centre case, in which he was alleged as Trade and Industry Minister to favour clients of his former law office partner, Uri Messer, for government grants.

    Mr Messer, who had the charges against him dropped two months ago, is expected to be a state witness. Mr Olmert will be joined in the dock by his personal assistant, Shula Zaken.

    Jerusalem District Attorney Eli Abarbanel will lead the prosecution after the leading attorney on the case, his deputy Uri Korb, was suspended last week. It emerged that, three months ago during a lecture, Mr Korb had called judges "donkeys" and said they did not use common sense in court.

    As a result of his suspension, the State Prosecution requested a three-month delay in the start of the trial, since Mr Korb had been the leading counsel and worked with police investigators for over a year. The court refused the request, and Mr Korb will be retained as adviser to the prosecutor's team.

    Friends of Mr Korb accused the former prime minister's circle of being behind the leak at a crucial moment before the opening of the trial, a charge Mr Olmert's office rejected.

    Navot Tel-Zur, a senior attorney on Mr Olmert's defence team, said that the defence would not be seeking a plea bargain and that they had ample evidence to refute the allegations.

Israel

Meet the rabbi that's making waves

Tim Marshall

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Meet the rabbi that's making waves
Israel

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...

JC Reporter

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tens of thousands evacuated as bush fires rage ...
Israel

Israeli rabbis, Hamas founder call for peace

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Israeli rabbis, Hamas founder call for peace
Israel

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Israeli navy submarine deal could be sunk
Israel

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective

Nathan Jeffay

Thursday, November 24, 2016

New cases for the Negev's genetic detective
Israel

Israeli rabbis in hot water

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Israeli rabbis in hot water
Israel

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...

JC Reporter

Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabs and Palestinians around the world celebra...
Israel

Bibi faces probe over subs deal

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bibi faces probe over subs deal
Israel

Briton detained in Israel

Anshel Pfeffer

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Briton detained in Israel