Olmert in court on day of sentencing, May 13.
(photo credit: POOL)
An expanded five justice panel of the Supreme Court presided over by Supreme Court President Asher D. Grunis on Monday heard the state’s motion for a retrial over former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s acquittal in the Talansky Affair.
In an incredible moment of candor, Justice Yoram Danziger essentially told the parties that from the moment the state had filed its motion, the Supreme Court had been divided and in the process of figuring out how to break their disagreement about whether to grant the state’s earlier request appealing Olmert’s acquittal.
The retrial motion would essentially freeze the appeal before the Supreme Court and send the case back to the Jerusalem District Court which acquitted Olmert in July 2012.
The state defended the extraordinary request of a retrial (despite the verdict being almost two years old), noting that if ever there was a case to allow such a request, it was this case, allegedly with newly discovered tape recordings of Olmert pressuring former top aide Shula Zaken not to cooperate with the state.
Olmert’s lawyer, Eli Zohar, doubled down, saying that the tapes, in and of themselves, were not a silver bullet and would require Zaken to testify at trial.
He added that getting an impermissible second chance at Zaken testifying against Olmert after the verdict was the real and hidden purpose of the state’s motion.