Cookie consent

We use cookies to improve your experience on this website. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies. Tell me more | Cookie preferences

Former Israeli prime minister indicted

Ehud Olmert became Israel's prime minister in 2006, succeeding  Ariel Sharon who suffered a massive stroke (file photo).

Story highlights

  • The indictment names 13 figures and three companies
  • "Three serious bribery scandals that are linked to each other," the indictment says
  • Ehud Olmert is already on trial for other corruption allegations

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted on Thursday for seeking bribes in three controversial real estate projects, among them the highly-disputed Holyland housing project in Jerusalem.

The indictment names 13 figures and three companies; among those charged are former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupliansky and Danny Dankner, a former chairman of one of Israel's major banks Bank Hapoalim.

The indictment proclaims that the suspects were involved in "three serious bribery scandals that are linked to each other that concern the promotion of real estate projects throughout the country by an elaborate system of giving and taking bribes by elected officials and public employees."

The suspects' charges include bribery, money laundering and tax fraud, according to the indictment.

One of the real estate projects mentioned in the indictment is the Holyland housing project, a massive luxury apartment complex in southwest Jerusalem that is considered an eyesore by some Jerusalem residents and in recent years has become a symbol to some of municipal graft and corruption.

Olmert is already standing trial on a number of corruption charges which allegedly took place between 2002 and 2006 while he served as mayor of Jerusalem and held several cabinet posts under then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Olmert became prime minister in 2006 after succeeding prime minister Ariel Sharon who suffered a massive stroke. He announced his resignation in August 2008 after ths Israeli police recommendation that he stand trial.

Prosecutors accuse Olmert of double billing government agencies for travel, taking cash from an American businessman in exchange for official favors and acting on behalf of his former law partner's clients.

At the opening of his trial on Sept 25, 2009 Olmert said " for the last three years I have been subject to an almost inhumane system of smearing and investigations and have naturally paid a heavy price for this period..now is the time for facts and only facts. I have come here as an innocent man and I believe I'll come out of here an innocent man."

      CNN recommends

    • pkg clancy north korea nuclear dreams_00002004.jpg

      As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
    • Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
    • pkg rivers uk football match fixing_00005026.jpg

      Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
    • No Eiffel Towers, Statues of Liberties, Mt. Rushmores, Taj Mahals, Aussie koalas or Chairman Maos.

      It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.