Former Olmert Aide Shula Zaken Gets Early Release From Prison

Zaken was sentenced to 11 months in jail for her role in the Holyland corruption scandal.

Tal Shahar

The Israel Prison Service approved on Monday the early release of Shula Zaken, Ehud Olmert’s former aide who was sentenced to 11 months in prison for her role in the Holyland corruption scandal. She will be released at the end of the month.

Zaken began serving her sentence in July at the Neve Tirza women’s prison. She was meant to enter prison on September 1 but asked to start serving her sentence earlier, hoping that if she gets a third of her sentence reduced for good behavior, she could be out of prison by Passover.

Zaken was convicted of money laundering and of taking 150,000 shekels ($43,800) and gifts as a bribe from the now-deceased state’s witness Shmuel Dechner in the case, involving the Holyland luxury building project in Jerusalem. As part of a plea agreement, Zaken gave the prosecution recordings that led to a new police investigation into former Prime Minister Olmert, and a request by prosecutors to reopen the 2013 Talansky case. Then, Olmert was accused of allegedly receiving illicit funds from U.S. businessman and fund-raiser Morris Talansky while serving in various public positions.

Olmert was sentenced to six years in prison in May.