Olmert becomes first premier to face trial
For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1111331.html
He is suspected of committing the crimes while serving as mayor of Jerusalem and afterwards when a cabinet minister, before he became prime minister in 2006.
For full article, visit http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/08/200983014538891475.html
In the first case, Mr Olmert is accused of accepting envelopes stuffed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from an American businessman. He admits taking money, but insists that the donations were legal contributions to his campaigns for re-election as mayor of Jerusalem and for the leadership of Likud, his former party
Olmert’s spokesman, Amir Dan, issued a statement after the indictment was filed declaring that “after they forced a prime minister to step down in the middle of his term, it is obvious that the attorney-general and the state attorney do not have, and never had, any choice but to file an indictment against Olmert. The court, on the other hand, is free of extraneous considerations. Olmert is convinced that in court, he can and will prove his innocence once and for all.
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Recent criminal investigations against Israeli politicians have landed several in jail and increased public calls for government reform. Avraham Hirshson, a former Finance Minister, is about to begin a five-year prison sentence for embezzling $1 million, while Shlomo Benizri, a former Health Minister, is serving a four-year sentence for bribery, fraud and obstruction of justice. Several others are still being investigated