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Ex-Israeli PM Olmert convicted of fraud

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday was convicted of fraud following accusations that he had received envelopes of money from American Jewish businessman Morris Talansky.

The decision reversed an earlier ruling acquitting the former premier in the so-called “Talansky case,” which was first opened in 2008.

A sentencing hearing has been set for May 5, Israel’s Jerusalem Post reported, noting that Olmert could face up to five more years in prison.

Olmert was accused of having illegally received – and concealed – cash payments from Talansky in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, during his tenure as Jerusalem mayor and trade minister.

In return, Olmert allegedly facilitated Talansky’s business interests.

The former premier was acquitted in the same case in July 2012, but new evidence based on recordings prompted a retrial.

A district court in Jerusalem on Tuesday slapped Olmert with six years in prison and a one-million-shekel (roughly $290,000) fine after finding him guilty of two counts of bribery in a separate corruption case known as the “Holyland trial.”

In that case, Olmert was found guilty of taking bribes linked to the construction of Jerusalem’s massive Holyland residential complex when he was serving as mayor.

He has since appealed the ruling.

The former leader of the center-right Kadima party served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003 before becoming prime minister in 2006.

In September 2008, he resigned his post after police called for his indictment on graft charges.

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