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Expert: It Could be Years Before Olmert Goes to Prison

Professor Suzie Navot says that Olmert will appeal his bribery conviction and that this process can take years.
By Benny Toker
First Publish: 4/2/2014, 4:47 AM

Olmert in court
Olmert in court
Flash 90

It might be years before former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will go to prison over his conviction on charges of bribery, according to Professor Suzie Navot of the school of law at the College of Management in Rishon LeZion.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday, Navot predicted that Olmert would appeal his conviction and, while she estimated that his chances of having it overturned were slim, the process will take a very long time.

“Even if he is sent to prison, it is likely that he will file an appeal and request a stay of execution. It could be years before the appeal goes before the Supreme Court,” she said, adding, “We should remember that the prosecution has already appealed his acquittal in two previous trials and that appeal has not yet been heard for months.”

Navot added that it was regrettable to see a former Israeli prime minister being convicted of such serious offenses.

"Everyone is equal before the law, but the fact that we already have a president and ministers in jail is very regrettable,” she said. “I have no doubt that if Olmert will have to go to jail, the security services and the Israeli Prisons Service will do what it takes to ensure he carries out his sentence as all other offenders do.”

Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen convicted Olmert along with ten other defendants in the infamous Holyland corruption scandal.

Olmert's former bureau chief Shula Zaken was also convicted of accepting 100,000 shekels in bribe money.

Zaken signed a plea bargain with the prosecution days before the verdict was issued, and turned state’s evidence against Olmert.

While the plea bargain with Zaken includes a reduced sentence of 11 months less one day, Judge Rosen nevertheless made clear after reading the verdict that he would request serious arguments before approving the deal.