Court rejects Olmert plea deal, adds a month to prison term


TEL AVIV (JTA) — A Jerusalem court rejected a plea deal for ex-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and added a month to his prison sentence for his conviction on corruption charges.

The Jerusalem District Court rejected the deal on Wednesday, sending Olmert to prison for 19 months on three charges — two counts of obstruction of justice in corruption cases against him, in addition to his conviction for taking bribes to advance the construction of Holyland Park, a Jerusalem apartment complex. He will start his term on Monday, thus becoming the first former prime minister to go to prison. Olmert also must pay a fine of about $13,000.

Under the plea deal, Olmert would have served six months for the corruption charges concurrently with his 18-month sentence in the bribery case, according to Israeli reports.

The corruption charges relate to Olmert’s attempts to persuade an aide not to testify against him. He took the bribes while serving as mayor of Jerusalem in the 1990s.

Olmert served as prime minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009. He left office ahead of his indictment on corruption charges.

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