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Olmert’s acquittal in corruption cases appealed to Israeli Supreme Court

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s state prosecutor appealed the acquittals of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two corruption cases.

The state filed its appeal Wednesday with the Supreme Court over Olmert’ s acquittal in the Rishon Tours and Morris Talansky affairs, as well as the sentence given Olmert for his conviction on breach of trust in the Investment Center Affair.

In the Rishon case, Olmert was accused of allegedly paying for family vacations by double billing Jewish organizations through the Rishon Tours travel agency. In the Talansky case, Olmert allegedly accepted envelopes full of cash from American businessman Morris Talansky.

The charges were filed after he became prime minister in 2006, but covered his time as mayor of Jerusalem and later as a government minister.

Olmert was sentenced to one to three years of probation and fined some $19,000 for granting personal favors to attorney Uri Messer when Olmert served as trade minister. The ex-Israeli leader could have faced up to three years in jail. In exchange for the sentence, Olmert had agreed to forgo the perks awarded to a former head of state, including a secretary, an office and a car.

The first former Israeli prime minister ever to stand trial, Olmert  officially resigned his post in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted in the Talansky case.

Olmert reportedly is deciding whether to reenter politics and run for the 19th Knesset in January’s elections.

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