Former Israeli Prime Minister Cleared of Corruption Charges
Jul 10, 2012 12:45 PM EDT
On Tuesday after a two year trial, a Jerusalem District Court cleared for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of two corruption charges and convicted him for breach of trust. He is set to appear in court in September for his sentencing.
Olmert was cleared of accepting bribes from a wealth Jewish America businessman as well as double-charging Jewsish groups for travel expenses, but he was convicted of directing money to a company that he had ties with. Olmert still faces another major charge of corruption for an alleged incidence of bribe-taking during his tenure as Jerusalem mayor.
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Outside the court, the 66-year-old acquitted politician told reporters "There was no corruption. There was no taking of money. There was no use of money. There were no cash envelopes. There was nothing of what they tried to attribute to me," according to Fox News.
Olmert's case raises many questions about possible politics behind the charges and "whether an overzealous prosecution unnecessarily hounded him from office," as reported by the Associated Press.
The allegations of corruptions forced the former Prime Minister to shorten his term as Israel's top leader. In his third year in 2009, Olmert resigned from office, which in turn was filled in by conservative Likud party member Benjamin Netanyahu.
Olmert is the first Israeli prime minister to be convicted by a court.