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State seeks jail time for Shula Zaken
By JPOST.COM STAFF
02/05/2012
Former Olmert bureau chief convicted of fraud, breach of trust in Tax Authority affair, betrayed the public.
 
State prosecutors said they are seeking jail time for Ehud Olmert’s former bureau chief Shula Zaken, calling her actions a betrayal of the public’s trust during sentencing arguments in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Zaken was convicted of fraud and breach of trust offenses in regard to the Tax Authority affair, one of the most serious cases of publicsector corruption in the state’s history.

The prosecution said it was seeking jail time because she betrayed the public that put its confidence in her.

In February, the court found Zaken guilty of abusing her position as bureau chief in the office of then-finance minister Ehud Olmert between October 2005 and March 2006 by brokering bribes to advance the personal interests of her brother, Yoram Karshi.

Her trial was held separately from that of the other defendants in the affair. Three have already been sentenced to prison terms by the Central District Court in Petah Tikva.

In convicting Zaken earlier this year, Judge Haim Li-Ran said her testimony before the court and statements to police had been “packed with inaccuracies” and that her version of events did “not hold water.”

Zaken faces charges in two other corruption cases. She is currently standing trial alongside Olmert in the Jerusalem District Court where she has been indicted in connection with the Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs. That trial is in its closing arguments phase.

Zaken was also indicted in connection with the Holyland real estate corruption scandal.

The related trial opened this February in the Tel Aviv District Court.

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.
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