Olmert admits to obstruction of justice in plea deal; no deal on other cases

For the first time since his conviction on bribery and corruption charges last year, former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Monday admitted to obstruction of justice in coordination with his former top aide as part of a plea bargain bid to reduce his prison sentence.


Olmert admitted to obstructing justice with former confidante Shula Zaken in both the Talansky and Holyland affairs, in an effort to persuade the prosecution to agreed to a six-month jail sentence and a NIS 50,000 fine, on condition the six months would run concurrent with his 18-month Holyland sentence, so it would not actually add further jail time.


However, Olmert and the state prosecution could not reach a deal on the Talansky, Rishon Tours and Investment affairs, which means that Tuesday’s hearing of their competing appeals before the Supreme Court will go forward.


Reportedly, the sides split over whether any prison sentence Olmert would agree to would run concurrently with his 18-month Holyland sentence or be added on to the sentence.


In May, the Jerusalem District Court sentenced Olmert to eight months in prison following his conviction in the Talansky Affair retrial, a case that consisted of Olmert illegally receiving, using and concealing at least $153,950 in cash from New York businessman Morris Talansky between 1993 and 2002.


The sentence for the Talansky Affair was his second conviction, for which he is due to serve 18 months for the Holyland real estate corruption case. The Supreme Court reduced his original sentence on appeal from six years.


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