Testimony stage of Olmert Holyland corruption trial concludes

Tel Aviv District Judge David Rozen is expected to give his verdict in between six to nine months.

Olmert in court 370 (photo credit: Pool/Yediot)
Olmert in court 370
(photo credit: Pool/Yediot)
The testimony stage of the Holyland trial involving former prime minister Ehud Olmert and 15 other major defendants ended late Tuesday.
Olmert was indicted on January 5, 2012 with the trial itself starting in July 2012.
Almost two years after his indictment and reportedly: 142 hearings, 9,000 pages of court transcripts, 800 prosecution exhibits and 500 defense exhibits, the trial is near its end.
Media predictions are that the parties are expected to submit written closing statements within about a month with final oral arguments to be completed in about two months.
Following that, media predictions are that Tel Aviv District Judge David Rozen will give his verdict in between six to nine months.
The Holyland trial involves one of the greatest alleged mass fraud and bribery schemes in the country’s history with investors in the Holyland real estate project in south Jerusalem seeking to bribe public officials with millions of shekels to help overcome legal and zoning obstacles.
The trial has often transfixed the country and had a surreal feel to it with witnesses having died, nervous break-downs, multiple hospitalizations, secret forbidden romances and all of the bad blood between the brothers Ehud and Yossi Olmert (and Yossi’s former wife) on public display.
Most predict that some of the central defendants will get convicted, but few are jumping to predict the fates of Ehud Olmert and former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski, that in some ways – while the most famous defendants – were less central to the case itself.
The main charges against Olmert involve indirect bribes of millions of shekels to his brother Yossi and his former bureau chief Shula Zaken, at Olmert’s request, from Shmuel Duchner (who for over a year was known only as S.D. until his death), with US business man Morris Talansky also making a brief side appearance.