Olmert set to beat the odds in sentencing hearing

Outcome of case is all but decided based on state's light recommendation of a mere six months of community service.

Olmert, Zaken 370 (photo credit: Pool / Olivia Fitosi)
Olmert, Zaken 370
(photo credit: Pool / Olivia Fitosi)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert is poised to beat the odds again at a sentencing hearing set for Monday in the Jerusalem District Court.
Although the hearing is dramatic in that it involves a former prime minister, the outcome is all but decided based on the recommendation of the state to the court to sentence Olmert to a mere six months of community service.
The sentencing hearing is for the one minor crime Olmert was convicted of in his Jerusalem District Court corruption trial – breach of public trust in the Investment Center Affair.
Olmert was acquitted in July of all serious crimes involving significant prison time in a host of affairs.
The next significant turn of events was only a few weeks ago when the State Attorney’s Office shocked the country in sidestepping the issue of moral turpitude and suggesting to the court that the issue could be left on the back burner until and if Olmert ever decides to make a political comeback.
A finding of moral turpitude would have essentially ended Olmert’s political career since it prohibits participation in politics for seven years and Olmert will turn 67 on September 30.
Nevertheless, in a case with many surprises, it is still possible that the court could reject the state’s recommendation and sentence Olmert to a short amount of prison time or to find that his acts constituted moral turpitude.
Such decisions, however, are unlikely in light of the fact that the court took pains when announcing its verdict to admonish Olmert without severely condemning any of his actions.
If the court were dead-set on prison time or moral turpitude, it would likely have criticized him far more strongly and emotionally in the verdict.