Olmert charged with bribe-taking in Holyland affair

Former PM charged with taking bribes from real estate developers in exchange for supporting construction project.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert with lawyer in court 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert with lawyer in court 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Tel Aviv District Prosecutors charged former prime minister Ehud Olmert with receiving bribes in the Holyland affair on Thursday, the Justice Ministry announced.
Olmert was charged with accepting bribes in order to advance certain construction projects while he served as mayor of Jerusalem.
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Charges were also filed against Olmert's bureau chief Shula Zaken and former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski in the affair.
The Justice Ministry said that following an opinion from the state prosecutor and state legal advisor on criminal matters, it decided to file bribery charges against Olmert, Zaken and Lupolianski.
In August 2010, Police recommended that state prosecutors indict Olmert and several additional suspects in the affair.
The former prime minister was questioned under caution three times in June and July of 2010 over suspicions that he accepted around a million shekels in bribes from real estate developers in exchange for supporting the Holyland construction project in southern Jerusalem.
During questioning, Olmert was shown a series of documents allegedly linking him to bribery, fraud and abusing public office during his tenures as Jerusalem mayor and minister of trade, industry and labor. He has denied all of the suspicions against him.
Dan Izenberg contributed to this report.