Ex-Jerusalem Mayor Lupolianski Sentenced to Six Years in Jail for Bribe-taking

Uri Lupolianski, who must also pay a fine of 500,000 shekels, becomes the second ex-mayor of Jerusalem to be sentenced to jail in the Holyland affair, after Ehud Olmert.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski in court.
Former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski in court.Credit: Moti Milrod

The Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday sentenced former Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski to six years in prison and a 500,000-shekel fine for accepting bribes funneled through contributions to Yad Sarah, the charity organization he founded, as part of the Holyland corruption affair.

He will begin serving his sentence on September 1.

In his decision, Judge David Rozens wrote that Lupolianski had been "aware of the hundreds of thousands of shekels funneled as 'contributions' to Yad Sarah for many years, during which he served as deputy mayor of Jerusalem, head of the Planning and Building Committee, and later on, mayor of Jerusalem."

Lupolianski was convicted of accepting over 2 million shekels (about $570,000) in bribes over the course of the affair.

Lupolianski's sentencing comes just weeks after former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, also once mayor of Jerusalem, was given the same number of years in prison for his role in the Holyland affair.

The prosecution had asked the judge for a minimum sentence of six years for Lupolianski at the sentencing hearing at the end of April. The prosecution said at the time it took into account Lupolianski’s long service to the city and the condition of his health in its request.

Rozen said at the sentencing hearing that there was room to be somewhat more lenient with Lupolianski than what the state asked for since he did not take any of the money for himself, but gave it to a charitable institution he had founded, Yad Sarah, and because of his medical condition.

Lupolianski’s lawyers said any prison time would endanger him, but the judge said the medical opinion presented to the court said otherwise.

Former city council member Avraham Feiner, who was convicted of accepting a 680,000 shekel bribe, will serve six months of community service work of six hours a day because of his severe medical condition. He will do the work at Hadassah Hospital on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus, starting August 6. He was also fined 250,000 shekels, a quarter of the amount the prosecution asked for.

Rozen said that if not for Feiner’s serious medical condition, he would have been sentenced to at least five years in prison. In addition, Rozen said that because the lenient sentence was agreed upon as part of a plea deal between Feiner and the prosecution, the sentence in no way serves as a precedent.