Olmert looking concerned 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post )
The State Attorney’s Office on Monday filed a finalized Supreme Court appeal
against the acquittals and light sentence of former prime minister Ehud Olmert,
possibly putting his highly speculated political future into
The state filed its initial request to appeal on November 7,
2012, but the current submission was a fully updated and final statement of its
arguments on the issue – due to be heard in July.
If the state wins at
the Supreme Court level, Olmert could be convicted of harsher crimes than he was
at trial, and could even end up going to jail.
That said, the appeal in
and of itself does not legally prevent Olmert from running in elections, though
it clouds his political fortunes and future in the event of additional
The decision could have tremendous repercussions on the
future political makeup in the country.
In some sectors, Olmert is still
viewed as one of the few potential candidates, along with Finance Minister Yair
Lapid, who could at least challenge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an
Olmert’s public relations team released a response, saying “the
appeal is not based on anything except the desire of the officials of the
prosecution for vengeance and for chasing down Olmert.”
accused the state of “arbitrariness,” of “harming Olmert and his family” and of
“removing a prime minister [from office] for no reason.”
attacks Olmert’s acquittals on most of the main charges in both the Rishon Tours
and Talansky affairs. The appeal also asks to overturn Olmert’s acquittal on
charges that he misled the state comptroller regarding funds he received as part
of the Talansky Affair.
Olmert was convicted in the Jerusalem District
Court only of the minor crime of breach of trust in the Investment Center
Affair, last July.
The last part of the appeal asks to give Olmert a
harsher sentence for this conviction.
The Jerusalem District Court did
not give Olmert any community service as requested by the state, but only
sentenced him to a conditional sentence, plus a NIS 75,000
Regarding the Rishon Tours Affair, the state said the lower court
had agreed with almost all of the state’s factual findings.
said there could be no reasonable doubt that Olmert knowingly committed fraud,
in light of the fact that the affair involved more than $90,000 in
double-bookings of plane flights by his staff on his behalf, and that he had
been deeply involved in the working of his staff and in written correspondence
to those nonprofit institutions paying for his flights.
In essence, the
state said that in all of the affairs, the lower court had held it to an even
higher and impossible standard than beyond a reasonable doubt in its conclusions
about the evidence, particularly since the court found the state’s summation of
the facts more convincing than Olmert’s.