Shula Zaken got a plea bargain, but is getting a penalty nevertheless
Grudgingly, Judge David Rozen accepted Shula Zaken’s plea deal with the prosecution in the Holyland trial on Thursday, sentencing her to 11 months in prison on multiple bribery convictions.
The deal saw the former bureau chief to former prime minister Ehud Olmert receive a reduced sentence in exchange for providing taped conversations of Olmert that allegedly incriminate him in the other cases he was investigated for or is under investigation for. She was also fined NIS 25,000, with a NIS 75,000 forfeiture, noticeably lower than the seven-figure fines given to many other defendants in the case. She is due to start her prison sentence on September 1.
The Tel Aviv District Court judge was highly critical of Zaken throughout the sentencing hearing, saying she deserved at least five years in prison. But Rozen said he was ultimately bound by Supreme Court precedent in favor of honoring plea bargains agreed to by the state.
After standing by Olmert’s side for more than 30 years, including more than five years of trials, Zaken cut a plea bargain, just days before Olmert’s March 31 conviction in the Holyland real estate case, agreeing to testify and bring evidence against him for trying to secure her noncooperation with the state in all of the cases against him.
I agree she deserves more than she got, but her testimony did help bring down Olmert, and that's important.
Labels: Israel, political corruption