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Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert guilty of fraud, breach of trust

In a 2008 testimony, a witness said he provided Olmert with a $25,000 Italy vacation and $5,000 to cover a Washington hotel bill because Olmert's credit card was "maxed out."

By Andrew V. Pestano
Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert guilty of fraud, breach of trust
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was previously sentenced to six years imprisonment on May 13, 2014 for taking bribes, in a corruption case that resulted in the first criminal conviction of a former head of government in Israel. File Photo by UPI/Finbarr O'Reilly. | License Photo

JERUSALEM, March 30 (UPI) -- Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who served from 2006 to 2009, has been found guilty of fraud and breach of trust in a retrial on Monday in Jerusalem.

Olmert was forced to resign while under corruption investigations. He was convicted of receiving about $150,000, mostly in cash stuffed in envelopes, in a period of 13 years from Morris Talansky, an American businessman.

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Olmert was previously acquitted, but a retrial was ordered after recordings of Olmert referencing the money surfaced. He may appeal the latest conviction.

Talansky and some of his relatives transferred an overall of about $600,000 to Olmert, who is currently appealing a bribery conviction and six-year sentence from 2014. He was the first head of Israeli government to be criminally convicted.

"The battle against corruption is long and stubborn," prosecution lawyer Uri Korb said in the courtroom after the verdict. "It takes a long time, but, at long last, justice prevails."

"Seven years after Moshe Talansky's testimony, the court determined that Olmert certainly got envelopes of money and that his behavior was breach of trust and damaged public trust and is true corruption," he added.

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In Talansky's 2008 testimony he said he provided Olmert with a $25,000 Italy vacation and $5,000 to cover a Washington hotel bill because Olmert's credit card was "maxed out."

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