Former prime minister Ehud Olmert took the stand for the first time in the Holyland corruption trial against him on Sunday.
Olmert is accused of accepting more than NIS 1.5 million in bribes (out of around NIS 9m. given to public officials), either directly or through aides and his brother Yossi – between 1993 and 1999 while mayor of Jerusalem – to overcome zoning and other legal barriers to the Holyland real estate project in the capital’s south.
Olmert said during his testimony Sunday that the Holyland real estate project was good to do at the time, and the right thing to do in retrospect.
The former prime minister questioned the integrity of testimony given by Shmuel Duchner, the state's main witness against Olmert who died in March, saying that "the Duchner I met in 1994 was not the Duchner I met in this trial."