Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been convicted of bribery in a case which forced him to resign to office in 2008.
Ehud Olmert was convicted in what is known as the “Holyland affair” in which bribes were paid and received to speed up a luxury property development.
Ehud Olmert has been convicted of bribery in a case which forced him to resign to office in 2008 (photo Flash90)
The 68-year-old former prime minister has already been cleared in several other corruption trials.
He had denied wrongdoing and had hinted at a political comeback.
Delivering the verdict in Tel Aviv on Monday, Judge David Rozen said the case “exposed governance that grew more corrupt and rotten over the years”, with bribes paid to public officials,” the Associated Press news agency reported.
Former Kadima party leader Ehud Olmert succeeded Ariel Sharon as prime minister after the latter had a stroke in January 2006. He was mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003.
In 2012, Ehud Olmert was cleared of two major corruption charges but convicted of illegally granting favors to a business friend during his time as trade and industry minister under Ariel Sharon.
Former PM Ariel Sharon have been described as an “indomitable” man devoted to the security of his people at his state memorial in Israel.
Israel’s current PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Ariel Sharon was “one of the greatest military commanders the Jewish people have had”.
Ariel Sharon, regarded by many Israelis as a great statesmen but widely loathed in the Arab world, died on Saturday at the age of 85 after 8 years in a coma.
He will be buried later at the family ranch in the Negev desert.
Thousands of mourners paid their final respects on Sunday, when Ariel Sharon’s coffin lay in state outside parliament – the Knesset – in Jerusalem.
There were some 20 foreign delegates and hundreds of Israeli dignitaries attending Monday’s memorial service.
They included US Vice-President Joe Biden, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Middle East international envoy Tony Blair, Czech PM Jiri Rusnok and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Delivering the first speech at the memorial, President Shimon Peres said Ariel Sharon was a “living military legend” who also always dreamed of peace for Israel.
He said Ariel Sharon’s shoulders had “borne the weight of the security of our people”.
Thousands of mourners paid their final respects to Ariel Sharon
Benjamin Netanyahu said Ariel Sharon’s “unique contribution to the security of the state is engraved in our historical writings”, adding: “Your memory will be part of this nation forever.”
Joe Biden described Ariel Sharon as an “indomitable bulldozer… The security of his people was his unwavering mission”.
The US vice-president also told the Israeli people: “As long as there is a United States of America, you are not alone.”
Describing Ariel Sharon as “bold, unorthodox and unyielding”, but also “warm-hearted, humorous, charming and passionate”, Tony Blair called the former PM “a giant of this land” who would “take his place in the history of Israel with pride”.
Ariel Sharon’s body was then taken in a funeral cortege for a brief military ceremony at Latrun, west of Jerusalem, where he was severely wounded in the 1948 war of independence.
His final journey is to the Sycamore ranch he owned near Sderot, close to Gaza.
Ariel Sharon will be buried beside his wife Lili, who died in 2000.
Because of its proximity to Gaza, three security rings are being placed around the farm.
The inner ring closest to the grave will be for family and invited guests alone, the second will be open to the public and the third will be a security measure surrounding the perimeter.
An Israeli security source said the Hamas government in Gaza had been warned to prevent any rocket attacks.
The Israeli military says a battery of the Iron Dome missile defense system is located nearby and that two rockets were launched from Gaza on Monday morning but did not reach Israel.
No-one from the Arab world, Africa or Latin America was attending Monday’s ceremonies.
Israel begins a short period of mourning for ex-PM Ariel Sharon who died at 85 of heart failure after 8 years in a coma.
The public will pay their respects when Ariel Sharon’s body lies in state on Sunday before a private burial on Monday.
Israeli and world figures have paid tribute to a man who fought in four major wars before taking to the political stage.
But there was little sorrow among Palestinians who saw him as an enemy.
The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv confirmed Ariel Sharon’s death on Saturday afternoon, the Jewish Sabbath, more than a week after it emerged that his health was in decline.
Gilad Sharon, one of his two sons, said outside the hospital: “He has gone. He went when he decided to go.”
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spoke of a leader “who dedicated his life to the state of Israel”.
The public will pay their respects when Ariel Sharon’s body lies in state on Sunday before a private burial on Monday
Israel’s President Shimon Peres, a long-time friend and political rival who joined a unity government with Ariel Sharon in 2001, said he was “an exceptional man and an exceptional commander who moved his people and loved them and the people loved him”.
Ariel Sharon, known as “The Bulldozer”, was a giant of Israel’s military and political scene whose term as prime minister ended abruptly when he had a major stroke that put him in a coma in January 2006.
Months before his stroke, he had guided Israelis through a unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, with the declared aim of easing tensions with the Palestinians.
Ariel Sharon’s reputation among Palestinians was such that, in the Gaza Strip, sweets were handed out in celebration of his death. One senior official in the Fatah movement said he was a criminal whom Palestinians had wanted to see on trial.
Palestinian political figure Mustafa Barghouti said while no-one should gloat at his death, Ariel Sharon had taken “a path of war and aggression” and had left “no good memories with Palestinians”.
Ariel Sharon’s coffin will be placed at a plaza in front of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, in Jerusalem on Sunday to allow the public to pay their respects for six hours, from 12:00 to 18:00 local time.
A ceremony will be held there on Monday morning, which international figures are to attend. US Vice-President Joe Biden will lead a US delegation and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is also expected to go.
A few hours later Ariel Sharon will be buried in a private ceremony at his farm in the Negev desert where his late wife Lily was laid to rest in 2000.
Former Israel’s PM Ariel Sharon has died at the age 85 after spending 8 years in a coma following a stroke.
Ariel Sharon was a giant of the Israeli military and political scene, but courted controversy throughout his long career.
The head of the Sheba Medical Centre near Tel Aviv said Ariel Sharon had died on Saturday afternoon of heart failure.
Ariel Sharon’s health had declined for the past week and a half, he said.
Ariel Sharon was a giant of the Israeli military and political scene, but courted controversy throughout his long career
He fought in Israel’s war of independence in 1948, and from that point until he slipped into a coma in 2006 it seemed there was hardly a moment of national drama in which he did not play a role, our correspondent says.
Ariel Sharon, who became PM in 2001, was suffering from a malfunction of several organs including the kidneys, doctors said on Thursday.
His health was showing signs of “a slow and gradual deterioration” and his life was in danger, they added.
Ariel Sharon had been in a persistent vegetative state since a stroke in 2006.
Ariel Sharon’s condition is now critical, “with some danger to life”, his doctors have said.
Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, 85, has been in a coma since January 4, 2006.
He is suffering from a malfunction of several organs including the kidneys, they said.
Ariel Sharon became prime minister in 2001 and suffered a mild stroke in 2005.
After a second, major stroke in 2006, he went into a coma and has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since.
Ariel Sharon’s condition is now critical, with some danger to life
Giving the first official medical statement on the current situation, Professor Zeev Rotstein of Tel Hashomer hospital, said: “I am no prophet, but the feeling of his doctors and his sons… is that there has been a change for the worse.
“We are defining his condition as critical, and there is definitely a threat to his life. The feeling of everyone… is that this decline is very serious.”
Ariel Sharon’s family is at his bedside. One of his sons, Omri, told the Jerusalem Post: “We have hope, we always have hope.”
Having fought in all of Israel’s wars since the state’s founding in 1948, Ariel Sharon is admired by many Israelis as a great military leader, but is reviled by Palestinians.
Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s health condition has seriously deteriorated, the hospital treating him has announced.
Ariel Sharon, 85, has been in a coma for almost eight years.
Israeli media reports say he has suffered renal failure.
Ariel Sharon became prime minister in 2001, but in December 2005 he suffered a mild stroke.
Ariel Sharon has been in a coma for almost eight years and now he is suffering renal failure
After a second, major stroke in 2006, Ariel Sharon went into a coma and has been in a persistent vegetative state ever since.
Having fought in three Middle Eastern wars, Ariel Sharon is admired by many Israelis as a great military leader, but reviled by Palestinians.
While serving as defense minister in 1982, Ariel Sharon masterminded Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. During the invasion, Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel massacred hundreds of Palestinians in two Beirut refugee camps under Israeli control.
Ariel Sharon was a keen promoter of the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. He also initiated the construction of the controversial West Bank barrier.
Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for seven years, has shown significant signs of brain activity, doctors say.
A team of Israeli and American scientists say new tests showed Ariel Sharon, 84, responded to external stimuli.
The activity increased when he was being shown pictures of his family and played a recording of his son’s voice.
Ariel Sharon has been in a coma since 2006, when he suffered a massive stroke.
Since then, he has been in a vegetative state, connected to a respirator.
The doctors at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba said that during tests, “significant brain activity was observed… indicating appropriate processing of these stimulations.”
While the responses did not mean Ariel Sharon was likely to fully regain consciousness, doctors said they were “encouraging”.
Alon Friedman, a neurological director at Israel’s Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba, said the findings suggested that even in Ariel Sharon’s comatose state, “he might be listening, and some important information goes into his brain and is being processed”.
Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma for seven years, has shown significant signs of brain activity
Ariel Sharon was a storied military officer who fought in three wars before entering politics.
He was admired by many Israelis as a great military leader, but reviled by Palestinians.
Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister in 2001, pledging to achieve “security and true peace”, and served until his stroke in 2006.
In 2005, he unilaterally withdrew Israeli troops and settlers from Gaza.
Ariel Sharon was a keen promoter of the expansion of the building and expansion of settlements in the occupied territories. He also initiated the construction of the separation barrier along the border and inside the West Bank.
But late in his career, despite fierce opposition in Israel, he ordered Jewish settlers to leave Gaza and four settlements in the West Bank.
As defence minister, Ariel Sharon masterminded Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. During the invasion, Lebanese Christian militiamen allied to Israel massacred hundreds of Palestinians in two refugee camps under Israeli control.