Olmert to remain free until end of appeals


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will remain out of prison until he has exhausted his appeals.

Olmert and the seven other men convicted in the real estate scam known as the Holyland Affair can remain free during the appeals process, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In May, Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison and a $289,000 fine for accepting bribes in the Holyland Affair. He was ordered to report to prison on Sept. 1, but the prison date was suspended pending his appeal.

It is unusual to postpone prison sentences in Israel. Olmert’s lawyer, however, argued that his appeal likely would be successful.

Olmert is the first Israeli prime minister to be sentenced to prison.

The former prime minister recently began a retrial in the so-called Talansky Affair in Jerusalem District Court.

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