Former Israeli PM convicted in bribery case

BY Sam Lane  March 31, 2014 at 3:10 PM EST
Photo by Flickr Creative Commons User Tzipi Livni

Ehud Olmert is Israel’s first convicted prime minister. Photo by Flickr Creative Commons User Tzipi Livni

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted Monday on bribery charges.

Judge David Rozen of the Tel Aviv District Court issued his ruling after nearly two years of what the Jerusalem Post said may be the “trial of the century.”

Olmert becomes the country’s first convicted prime minister. He was accused of accepting around $430,000 in bribes to “smooth over various legal and zoning obstacles,” according to the Jerusalem Post. The case stems from a period between 1993 and the mid-2000s, when Olmert was the mayor of Jerusalem and the Minister of Infrastructure, Trade and Industry.

Sentencing arguments begin on April 28. The maximum sentence for bribery was changed recently from seven years to 10 years, but the Jerusalem Post says precedent suggests the state will consider the maximum sentence from the time the crime was committed.