Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been sentenced to six years in prison for bribery and fined 1 million shekels ($289,000).
Ehud Olmert’s spokesman said he would appeal to the Supreme Court and ask to be freed on bail until it had ruled. He had sought a non-custodial sentence.
He would be the first former head of government in Israel to be jailed.
Ehud Olmert, 68, was convicted in March over a real estate deal that took place while he served as mayor of Jerusalem.
The Tel Aviv District Court found him guilty of two bribery charges and said he had accepted 500,000 shekels ($145,000) from the developers of a controversial apartment complex, known as Holyland, and another 60,000 shekels in a separate real estate project.
On Tuesday, Judge Uri Rozen said bribery offences “contaminate the public sector” and “cause the structure of government to collapse”.
He added: “People who receive bribes give rise to a feeling of disgust and cause the public to despise the state’s institutions. The taker of bribes is like a traitor who betrays the public trust that was given to him – trust without which a proper public service cannot be maintained.”
Ehud Olmert’s spokesman, Amir Dan, insisted he was innocent.
“This is a sad day where a serious and unjust verdict is expected to be delivered against an innocent man,” he said.
Ehud Olmert served as prime minister from 2006 to 2009, until a flurry of corruption allegations led to his resignation.
He was acquitted of most of the major charges eventually brought against him by prosecutors but was also found guilty of breach of trust and given a one-year suspended jail sentence.
Ehud Olmert was found to have made decision when he was minister of trade and industry that benefited clients of a close associate.