Attorney Eli Zohar
Attorney Eli ZoharFlash 90

Eli Zohar, attorney for former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, on Monday criticized the conduct of Judge David Rosen, who presided over the Holyland trial.

Rosen convicted Olmert on March 31 of receiving bribes, and two weeks ago sentenced him to six years in prison.

Speaking at a conference of the Israel Bar Association in Eilat, Zohar said that while the trial was handled “efficiently”, there were “a few glitches that had been unmatched.”

Among those glitches, according to Zohar, was the sentencing hearing for Olmert’s former bureau chief, Shula Zaken, who was sentenced to 11 months in prison after Rosen accepted a plea bargain she had reached with the prosecution.

During that sentencing, said Olmert’s attorney, she was questioned by the judge regarding “things related to another defendant (Olmert -ed.) who was not there and could not respond. This is something that never before took place around these parts. Never have the rights and dignity of a convicted person been violated.”

"It was the final accord of the legal process that was handled effectively, but in the name of efficiency, unfortunately, throughout the process many decisions were made that significantly harmed the rights of the accused," added Zohar.

Zaken’s sentencing was held separately to those of the other defendants in the trial because she turned state’s evidence against Olmert and signed a plea bargain with the prosecution days before the judge announced his verdict in the trial.

Olmert has since been questioned regarding the evidence against him, which allegedly proves that he obstructed justice in the Holyland case.

Olmert has announced his plans to appeal his conviction in the Holyland trial.