Published On: Mon, Mar 30th, 2015

Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert Convicted in Bribery Affair, his Lawyers Weigh an Appeal

The case was reopened after Olmert's chief of staff Shula Zaken turned state's witness

Ehud Olmert

The Jerusalem District Court on Monday convicted former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in the Talansky affair (also known as the “money envelopes” affair) — a case in which he was originally exonerated, but which was reopened following a request from the state prosecution.

American businessman and Orthodox rabbi Morris Talansky co-founded the New Jerusalem Foundation with then Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert. In May 2008, when Olmert was under investigation for alleged briberies, Talansky was one of two pivotal witnesses, the other being attorney Uri Messer, who allegedly handled the transfer of envelopes full of cash between Talansky and Olmert.

The case was reopened after Olmert’s chief of staff Shula Zaken turned state’s witness, revealing to police tapes proving Olmert used the money he received from Talansky for personal expenses.

Olmert’s legal team is considering appealing his conviction.

“We heard the outcome and we don’t like the outcome, but we’re still not discussing conclusions, ” an Olmert attorney told the press Monday morning, following his client’s conviction.

“We will come to our decision when we have studied the material and judgment. Of course, since we are not happy with the result there is a chance we may be appealing. We believed this case was suppose to end differently.”

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