Bribery scandal: Ex-Israel PM awarded with 6 years imprisonment

Israel`s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was on Tuesday sentenced to six years in jail over real estate bribery scandal and also fined him 1 million shekels ($289,000).

Zee Media Bureau

Tel Aviv: Israel`s former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was on Tuesday sentenced to six years in jail over real estate bribery scandal and also fined him 1 million shekels ($289,000).

The former PM was convicted in March of accepting bribes in two real estate deals while he was Mayor of Jerusalem.

Olmert is accused of receiving 500,000 shekels from a controversial apartment developer named Holyland housing development, and 60,000 shekels from another real estate developer, reported the BBC.

The 68-year old, who is the first Israeli Prime Minister to face criminal charges, was hit by scandals during his three-year tenure as PM from 2006 to 2009.

Olmert had to resign in 2009 on corruption charges.

Announcing the verdict, the judge of Tel Aviv district court, Uri Rodzen compared Mr Olmert to a traitor, saying bribe takers caused the government machinery to collapse and contamination of the public sector.

"People who receive bribes give rise to a feeling of disgust and cause the public to despise the state`s institutions. The taker of bribes is like a traitor who betrays the public trust that was given to him - trust without which a proper public service cannot be maintained," the BBC quoted him as saying.

However, Olmert`s spokesperson Amir Dan has said that he will appeal in the Supreme Court and seek non-custodial sentence.