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Olmert indicted in Holyland scandal

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been indicted on bribery charges in one of Israel’s largest corruption scandals.

The indictment filed Thursday accuses Olmert of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes during the construction of the Holyland apartment project in Jerusalem when he was mayor of Jerusalem and then later Israel’s trade minister.

Seventeen others also were indicted in the case, including Olmert’s former bureau chief Shula Zaken and Olmert’s successor as Jerusalem mayor, Uri Lupolianski.

Olmert is on trial currently in three other cases: for allegedly paying for family vacations by double billing Jewish organizations through the Rishon Tours travel agency; for allegedly accepting envelopes full of cash from American businessman Morris Talansky; and for allegedly granting personal favors to attorney Uri Messer when he served as trade minister in the Investment Center case.

The ex-Israeli leader is charged with fraud, breach of trust, falsifying corporate records and tax evasion. He has pleaded not guilty on all the charges.

Olmert is the first former Israeli prime minister to stand trial. He resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted.
 

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