Court shoots down prison-bound Olmert's request to leave country

Former PM, who is set to go to prison in September pending appeal, requested to travel in order to facilitate various business deals.

Olmert in court on day of sentencing, May 13 (photo credit: POOL)
Olmert in court on day of sentencing, May 13
(photo credit: POOL)
Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rozen on Sunday rejected former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s request to leave the country on business for four days on the grounds that he has been convicted and sentenced to jail time for bribery.
Olmert requested to travel from June 9-13 in order to facilitate business deals including foreign investment in Israel. His former chief architect in Jerusalem, Uri Shitrit, made a similar request, which was denied in the same opinion.
The court said that the only exception for leaving the country under such circumstances was special medical needs, which did not apply to either of the convicted men.
Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison for his conviction on two counts of bribery in the Holyland real estate affair last month.
The judge delayed the arrest and imprisonment of all of the Holyland defendants until September 1.
Olmert and the other defendants may further delay any prison time by filing an appeal within 45 days of the May 13 sentencing and asking the Supreme Court to delay their imprisonment pending a decision on it.
A similar request made to the Supreme Court in 2011 by former president Moshe Katsav was honored by the court and delayed his imprisonment for about six months.
Olmert could obtain an even longer delay due to the complexities of this case. They include his July 2012 Jerusalem corruption trial appeal, also before the Supreme Court, and an expected indictment against him for allegedly blocking his former top aide Shula Zaken from cooperating with the state.

Tags holyland