Jerusalem : Israel’s disgraced former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is set to go behind bars in a major graft scandal as the top court on Tuesday upheld his bribery conviction, making him the first ex-Premier in the country’s history to serve a jail term. The Supreme Court, however, reduced the 70-year-old leader’s sentence from six years to 18 months in prison, and acquitted him on one of the charges.
Olmert, who was Prime Minister from 2006 to 2009, was sentenced in May 2014 to six years in prison on two separate charges of taking bribes. The top court today partially accepted his plea in the bribery conviction acquitting him of receiving NIS 500,000 (about USD 1,25,000) in bribe but upheld his conviction for accepting NIS 60,000 (USD 15,000).
The Supreme Court’s ruling brings an end to what has been described as the largest bribery scandal in Israel’s history.
Olmert is to begin serving his sentence from February 15 next year. The disgraced leader said he had never accepted any bribes, but respects the court’s decision to uphold his conviction for the lesser charge.