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Friday, September 25, 2009 

Olmert's trial begins

Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister of Israel who's disgraced himself with corruption, appeared at his first official trial today, acting like a victim:
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's former prime minister, Ehud Olmert, appeared in a Jerusalem courtroom on Friday for a hearing that marks the first time any current or past Israeli head of government has stood trial.

The opening of court proceedings is the latest chapter in a legal saga that weakened Olmert's leadership, undermined public confidence in government and eventually drove him from office.

The 63-year-old Olmert left politics when his rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, became prime minister last March, and has largely been out of the public eye since then.

Entering the court, Olmert told reporters that he had been subjected to an "ordeal of slanders and investigations."

"I come here as a man innocent of any crime, and I believe I will leave here as a man innocent of any crime," Olmert told reporters at the court.
He's not helping himself by pleading victimhood. But that's the whine-whine attitude he's been putting on display for at least 2 years now.
Olmert faces charges of illegally accepting funds from an American supporter and double-billing Jewish groups for trips abroad, among others.

The incidents in question date from his time as Jerusalem mayor and later as a Cabinet minister, but emerged after he was elected prime minister in 2006. Olmert eventually stepped down because of the allegations, triggering elections that led to the formation of the Netanyahu government currently in power.

The formal charges include fraud and breach of trust. Israel's Justice Ministry has not said what penalties Olmert could face, but the fraud charge alone could carry a prison term of up to five years.
Good. Let's hope he gets time in the pen then. He was one of the worst politicians Israel's ever had, and for his grevious sins, including his poor interactions with Fatah, he deserves to be convicted.

Update: the trial will continue on February 22, 2010.

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