Politics

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced in May 2014 to six years in prison on two separate charges of taking bribes
Prosecutor agreed Olmert will concurrently serve six months for obstructing justice with his 18-month sentence

Israeli former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who begins serving a prison sentence in February for corruption, struck a deal Monday with the prosecution to avoid another jail term, radio said.

Public radio said Olmert's lawyer reached the agreement on behalf of the 70-year-old with the prosecutor general who had accused Olmert of obstructing justice.

According to the report, Olmert had tried to persuade his former secretary Shula Zacken not to testify against him in the corruption case and offered her money in exchange for her silence.

Zacken had made a secret recording of his attempt.

The prosecutor agreed Monday that Olmert will concurrently serve six months for obstructing justice with his 18-month sentence for corruption, radio said.

Olmert had been sentenced in May 2014 to six years in prison on two separate charges of taking bribes in the early 2000s in connection with the construction of Jerusalem's massive Holyland residential complex.

The towering construction project, which dominates the city's skyline, is seen as a major blot on the landscape and widely reviled as a symbol of high-level corruption.

But in December the Supreme Court reduced his sentence to 18 months in prison and acquitted him of one of the charges.

The prison term -- the first time a former Israeli prime minister goes to jail -- is due to begin on February 15.

However, Olmert is expected to appear before the Supreme Court again on Tuesday for an appeal in a separate case.

The Jerusalem District Court in May sentenced Olmert to eight months in prison for fraud and corruption following a retrial over allegations that he had received envelopes of cash from a US businessman while trade and industry minister.

(AFP)

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