Whatever one’s feelings, the verdict handed down on Monday, 8 Tishrei 5773 by the Jerusalem District Court against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is the talk of the political community. The court detailed the severity of the guilty verdict on “breach of trust”, betraying his oath of office, but ultimately, the sentence handed down in the harsh 67-page decision was quite light according to most legal experts.
As the court read excerpts of the verdict most believed Mr. Olmert would at the very least be hit with community service and a moral turpitude conviction but this did not occur.
The court ruled the former prime minister must pay a fine of 75,300 NIS and he is on probation for one year. He is not compelled to sit in jail or even to serve in community service. Olmert may return to the public arena immediately, signaling the threatening cases that were mounting against him have been reduced to far less than most anticipated when his trials got underway.
What is relevant is that this leaves the door open for Olmert to run for a slot in the next Knesset but regarding a ministerial post, he would most likely have to contend with petitions to the High Court of Justice that cite a former court ruling that states even without a moral turpitude conviction, a cabinet post demands a clean past, addressing moral and ethical issues.
The state has the right to appeal for 45 days following the verdict.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)