Court gives Zaken four months community service

Former Olmert bureau chief guilty of fraud, breach of trust in Tax Authority affair; prosecutor sought jail time.

Shula Zaken 390 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Shula Zaken 390
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday sentenced Ehud Olmert’s former bureau chief, Shula Zaken, to four months of community service for fraud and breach of trust.
In May, the court found Zaken guilty of abusing her position as bureau chief in the office of then-finance minister Olmert between October 2005 and March 2006, by brokering bribes to advance the personal interests of her brother Yoram Karshi.
Judge Haim Li-Ran wrote that while Zaken had breached the public trust, she was, at the end of the day, a secretary.
State prosecutors had sought jail time for Zaken because she betrayed the public that put its confidence in her.
Zaken was convicted of fraud and breach of trust offenses in February in regard to the Tax Authority Affair, one of the most serious cases of public-sector corruption in the state’s history.
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, Li-Ran said her testimony before the court and her 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 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.