Charged with fraud, breach of public trust
Israeli prosecutors charged former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday with fraud and breach of public trust in three separate corruption scandals dating to his term as mayor of Jerusalem. According to the 61-page indictment, Olmert—who was forced from office nearly a year ago because of the investigation—overcharged state agencies and nonprofit groups for business travel and, perhaps more damningly, freely traded his influence as a politician to promote the business interests of his own donors and of his associates’ clients. (He is not, however, facing charges of bribery.) Olmert’s lawyers, who had plenty of time to prepare their response as the probe dragged on, immediately responded by welcoming the chance to refute the allegations in court. Olmert attorney Navot Tel-Tzur told Israel Radio this morning that the case will be “an embarrassment to prosecutors.”
Not, however, before it has become an embarrassment to Israel: Olmert now has the dubious distinction of being the first Israeli premier to be criminally indicted. He is hardly, however, the first senior pol to face charges—after all, Israel’s former president, Moshe Katsav, is currently being tried on rape and sexual harassment charges.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.