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Israel court extends prison sentence for former PM

[JURIST] An Israeli court on Wednesday extended the 18-month jail sentence of former prime minister Ehud Olmert by one month. Olmert will serve five months for obstruction of justice concurrently with the sentence for bribery charges and one additional month consecutively [BBC report]. Olmert was convicted in March 2014 and sentenced [JURIST report] to six years imprisonment on several charges dealing with bribery. His sentence was postponed [JURIST report] pending the appeal of his conviction. Olmert was accused of accepting money to promote a real-estate project in Jerusalem when he was mayor and the country's trade minister. He was forced to resign in 2009 amid the bribery charges, but has always denied any wrongdoing on his part.

In July 2012 Olmert was acquitted [JURIST report] of two major counts of corruption but found guilty of a third lesser charge in the culmination of a three-year trial. In a 700-page ruling three senior judges of a Jerusalem court rejected the prosecution's key accusations that as a cabinet minister and Jerusalem's mayor before becoming prime minister Olmert received bribes from US businessman Moshe Talansky, and that Olmert defrauded Israeli charities by double-billing them for overseas fundraising trips, a charge popularly referred to as the Rishon Tours double-billing affair. Olmert was convicted of breach of trust for granting illegal favors to a long-time friend and business partner while serving as minister of industry, trade and labor between 2002 and 2007. In September 2012 the court sentenced [JURIST report] Olmert to a one-year suspended sentence and a fine of about USD $19,000 for the charge of breaching public trust.

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