After Reaching Deal With Olmert Aide, State Prosecution Asks to Postpone Verdict

State Prosecutor signs plea bargain Shula Zaken in Holyland graft case against former PM Olmert; she will serve 11 months in prison and testify again.

Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel
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Shula Zaken and Ehud Olmert in court.
Shula Zaken and Ehud Olmert in court.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Revital Hovel
Revital Hovel

The State Prosecution on Thursday submitted an official request to the court to postpone the verdict in the Holyland graft case involving former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his then-bureau chief, Shula Zaken.

The State Prosecutor's Office confirmed that it had signed a plea bargain with Zaken, after negotiations had reached a stalemate Wednesday night.

As part of the deal, Zaken will testify again against Olmert, confess to receiving a bribe in the affair and serve an 11-month prison sentence. Zaken originally refused to serve the jail sentence, but ultimately agreed Thursday afternoon, The agreement is identical to the one Zaken rejected a year ago.

The State Prosecutor's office requested that the verdict be postponed so as to amend the indictment against Olmert, following the new evidence submitted by Zaken as part of the deal.

On Wednesday, Zaken gave the police evidence that ostensibly proves the former prime minister tried to obstruct justice in the so-called Holyland case. There is a gag order on what this evidence is and on the contents of the investigation.

Zaken's most recent version of events was more solid than the version she gave police at the start of the month. Even then she claimed Olmert had been obstructing justice, saying he had visited her at home and tried to persuade her not to turn state's witness against him. But she did not provide evidence of his alleged misconduct.

A week ago Zaken "upgraded" her offer to the prosecution, proffering additional evidence. A year ago Zaken rejected a plea bargain that would have had her serving 11 months behind bars.

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