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Former PM Ehud Olmert faces indictment in Holyland corruption affair

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Ehud Olmert in court on July 13, 2010.

Prosecution announces intention to put suspects on trial for bribery, corruption, and other charges; charges against Olmert pending hearing.

The Tel Aviv District’s prosecution announced Monday that it intended to indict former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert along with other suspects in the Holyland affair for corruption, bribery, and other charges.

The prosecution accepted the police recommendation to put the suspects on trial due to their participation in the alleged bribery scheme involving the “Holyland” residence project in Jerusalem, which was promoted during Olmert’s decade-long tenure as the city’s mayor.

The indictment against Olmert is pending a hearing, and other suspects in the affair include former Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski, Olmert’s former assistant Shula Zaken, and other key figures.

An aerial view of the controversial Holyland apartment complex in Jerusalem.

The prosecution’s announcement said that an evidentiary basis has developed according to which Hillel Charney, the Holyland project developer, allegedly promoted the approval of building plans and the construction of the Holyland project by bribing various publicly-elected officials and public workers so they could use their authority to advance the interests of the project planners.

It was found that a long list of public figures in the Jerusalem municipality allegedly took the bribes, and as a result the prosecution intends on putting Ehud Olmert, Uri Lupolianski, and Shula Zaken and the other suspects on trial.

Olmert is suspected of having accepted bribes worth more than NIS 1 million during his term as mayor of Jerusalem and later, while serving as trade minister, in exchange for advancing the interests of real estate developers involved in the Holyland project, as well as other real estate developments. The bribes were allegedly funneled through Olmert’s office manager Shula Zaken.


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