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Former Israel P.M. Olmert convicted of bribe-taking

Former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted Monday of taking bribes while he was mayor of Jerusalem, and could face seven years’ imprisonment.

By Ed Adamczyk
Former Israel P.M. Olmert convicted of bribe-taking
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert speaks after hearing the verdict in his trial, in Jerusalem's District Court, Tuesday, July 10, 2012. An Israeli court on Tuesday cleared Olmert of the major charges in a corruption trial that forced him from power. Olmert was found guilty of a lesser offense, and it was not clear whether that verdict could send him to jail. UPI/Gali Tibbon/Pool | License Photo

Former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was convicted Monday of taking bribes while he was mayor of Jerusalem, and could face seven years’ imprisonment.

Olmert, 68, was forced from office for breach of trust in 2012, and the conviction ends his hope of a political comeback, the New York Times reported Monday.

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The reading of the verdict, in a Jerusalem court, took nearly two hours and was broadcast live on Israeli Television Monday morning. Judge David Rosen on the Tel Aviv District Court said Olmert “told lies in court” and decried “a corrupt political system that has decayed over the years.”

Olmert was Jerusalem mayor from 1993 to 2003 and later oversaw the Israel Lands Authority as a luxury housing complex in Jerusalem, called Holylands, grew to 12 times the height granted in original permits.

He was tried for taking bribes to ease the construction of the project. [New York Times]

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