Israel’s ex-prime minister Ehud Olmert has prison time extended

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Ehud Olmert, the first former prime minister in Israel’s history to go behind bars, has had eight months tacked onto his 19-month sentence for corruption, a court statement said on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court in Jerusalem rejected the 70-year-old’s appeal in one of several corruption counts, leading to the extra time.

Mr. Olmert, who served as premier from 2006 to 2009, entered Maasiyahu Prison south-east of Tel Aviv in February for bribe-taking and obstruction of justice.

He is being held in a special ward, dubbed by Israeli media as the prison’s “VIP wing,” due to his knowledge of state secrets.

His crimes date to when he served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003, and as trade and industry minister immediately afterwards.

The court said during this period, he developed a “give-and-take relationship” with the developer of a luxury housing project.

The court said that it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that his assistant had accepted money from the developer on behalf of Mr. Olmert in 2004.

Report says many other high-ranking officials have also been implicated in the affair and are serving time in the same ward as him.

(dpa/NAN)

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